, Volume 18, Issue 12, pp 739-760
Date: 27 Jun 2005

Model of full-length HIV-1 integrase complexed with viral DNA as template for anti-HIV drug design

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We report structural models of the full-length integrase enzyme (IN) of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) and its complex with viral and human DNA. These were developed by means of molecular modeling techniques using all available experimental evidence, including X-ray crystallographic and NMR structures of portions of the full-length protein. Special emphasis was placed on obtaining a model of the enzyme’s active site with the viral DNA apposed to it, based on the hypothesis that such a model would allow structure-based design of inhibitors that retain activity in vivo. This was because bound DNA might be present in vivo after 3’-processing but before strand transfer. These structural models were used to study the potential binding modes of various diketo-acid HIV-1 IN inhibitors (many of them preferentially inhibiting strand transfer) for which no experimentally derived complexed structures are available. The results indicate that the diketo-acid IN inhibitors probably chelate the metal ion in the catalytic site and also prevent the exposure of the 3’-processed end of the viral DNA to human DNA.