Chemistry (Weinheim an der Bergstrasse, Germany) 2017 08 0323(48) 11703-11713 doi 10.1002/chem.201702531
Previous studies support the hypothesis that the envelope GB virus C (GBV-C) E1 protein interferes the HIV-1 entry and that a peptide, derived from the region 139-156 of this protein, has been defined as a novel HIV-1 entry inhibitor. In this work, we firstly focus on the characterization of the structural features of this peptide, which are determinant for its anti-HIV-1 activity and secondly, on the study of its interaction with the proposed viral target (i.e., the HIV-1 fusion peptide). We report the structure of the peptide determined by NMR spectroscopy in dodecylphosphocholine (DPC) micelles solved by using restrained molecular dynamics calculations. The acquisition of different NMR experiments in DPC micelles (i.e., peptide-peptide titration, diffusion NMR spectroscopy, and addition of paramagnetic relaxation agents) allows a proposal of an inhibition mechanism. We conclude that a 18-mer peptide from the non-pathogenic E1 GBV-C protein, with a helix-turn-helix structure inhibits HIV-1 by binding to the HIV-1 fusion peptide at the membrane level, thereby interfering with those domains in the HIV-1, which are critical for stabilizing the six-helix bundle formation in a membranous environment.