Inhibition of HIV Fusion by Small Molecule Agonists through Efficacy-Engineering of CXCR4

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CXC chemokine receptor 4 (CXCR4) is involved in multiple physiological and pathological processes, notably as a coreceptor for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) cell entry. Its broad expression pattern and vital biological importance make CXCR4 a troublesome drug target, as disruption of the interaction with its endogenous ligand, CXC chemokine ligand 12 (CXCL12), has severe consequences. In fact, only one CXCR4 drug, the bicyclam antagonist and HIV entry inhibitor AMD3100 (Plerixafor/Mozobil), has been approved for clinical use, however only for stem cell mobilization-a consequence of CXCR4 antagonism. Here, we report the engineering of an efficacy switch mutation in CXCR4-F292A7.43 in the middle of transmembrane helix 7-that converted the antagonists AMD3100 and AMD11070 into partial agonists. As agonists on F292A CXCR4, AMD3100 and AMD11070 were less disruptive to CXCR4 signaling while they remained efficient inhibitors of HIV fusion. This demonstrates that small molecule CXCR4 agonists can have a therapeutic potential as HIV entry inhibitors.

Original languageEnglish
JournalACS chemical biology
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)881-886
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 20 Apr 2018

ID: 199379437