New anti-HIV agents and targets.


Virtually all the compounds that are currently used or are subject of advanced clinical trials for the treatment of HIV infections, belong to one of the following classes: (i) nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs): i.e., zidovudine, didanosine, zalcitabine, stavudine, lamivudine, abacavir, emtricitabine and nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NtRTIs) (i.e., tenofovir disoproxil fumarate); (ii) non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs): i.e., nevirapine, delavirdine, efavirenz, emivirine; and (iii) protease inhibitors (PIs): i.e., saquinavir, ritonavir, indinavir, nelfinavir, amprenavir, and lopinavir. In addition to the reverse transcriptase and protease reaction, various other events in the HIV replicative cycle can be considered as potential targets for chemotherapeutic intervention: (i) viral adsorption, through binding to the viral envelope glycoprotein gp120 (polysulfates, polysulfonates, polycarboxylates, polyoxometalates, polynucleotides, and negatively charged albumins); (ii) viral entry, through blockade of the viral coreceptors CXCR4 (i.e., bicyclam (AMD3100) derivatives) and CCR5 (i.e., TAK-779 derivatives); (iii) virus-cell fusion, through binding to the viral envelope glycoprotein gp41 (T-20, T-1249); (iv) viral assembly and disassembly, through NCp7 zinc finger-targeted agents [2,2'-dithiobisbenzamides (DIBAs), azadicarbonamide (ADA)]; (v) proviral DNA integration, through integrase inhibitors such as 4-aryl-2,4-dioxobutanoic acid derivatives; (vi) viral mRNA transcription, through inhibitors of the transcription (transactivation) process (flavopiridol, fluoroquinolones). Also, various new NRTIs, NNRTIs, and PIs have been developed that possess, respectively: (i) improved metabolic characteristics (i.e., phosphoramidate and cyclosaligenyl pronucleotides by-passing the first phosphorylation step of the NRTIs), (ii) increased activity ["second" or "third" generation NNRTIs ( i.e., TMC-125, DPC-083)] against those HIV strains that are resistant to the "first" generation NNRTIs, or (iii), as in the case of PIs, a different, modified peptidic (i.e., azapeptidic (atazanavir)) or non-peptidic scaffold (i.e., cyclic urea (mozenavir), 4-hydroxy-2-pyrone (tipranavir)). Non-peptidic PIs may be expected to inhibit HIV mutant strains that have become resistant to peptidomimetic PIs.




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