Rochester, NY, United States
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Ofori L.O.,University of Rochester | Hilimire T.A.,University of Rochester | Bennett R.P.,Oyagen Inc. | Brown N.W.,University of Rochester | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Medicinal Chemistry | Year: 2014

The life cycle of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) has an absolute requirement for ribosomal frameshifting during protein translation in order to produce the polyprotein precursor of the viral enzymes. While an RNA stem-loop structure (the "HIV-1 Frameshift Stimulating Signal", or HIV-1 FSS) controls the frameshift efficiency and has been hypothesized as an attractive therapeutic target, developing compounds that selectively bind this RNA and interfere with HIV-1 replication has proven challenging. Building on our prior discovery of a "hit" molecule able to bind this stem-loop, we now report the development of compounds displaying high affinity for the HIV-1 FSS. These compounds are able to enhance frameshifting more than 50% in a dual-luciferase assay in human embryonic kidney cells, and they strongly inhibit the infectivity of pseudotyped HIV-1 virions. © 2014 American Chemical Society.


Salter J.D.,Oyagen Inc. | Morales G.A.,Cogent | Smith H.C.,Oyagen Inc. | Smith H.C.,University of Rochester
Trends in Biochemical Sciences | Year: 2014

HIV-1 viral infectivity factor (Vif) is a viral accessory protein that is required for HIV-1 infection due largely to its role in recruiting antiretroviral factors of the APOBEC3 (apolipoprotein B editing catalytic subunit-like 3) family to an E3 ubiquitin ligase complex for polyubiquitylation and proteasomal degradation. The crystal structure of the (near) full-length Vif protein in complex with Elongin (Elo)B/C, core-binding factor (CBF)β and Cullin (Cul)5 revealed that Vif has a novel structural fold. In our opinion the structural data revealed not only the protein-protein interaction sites that determine Vif stability and interaction with cellular proteins, but also motifs driving Vif homodimerization, which are essential in Vif functionality and HIV-1 infection. Vif-mediated protein-protein interactions are excellent targets for a new class of antiretroviral therapeutics to combat AIDS. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


Salter J.D.,Oyagen Inc. | Bennett R.P.,Oyagen Inc. | Smith H.C.,Oyagen Inc. | Smith H.C.,University of Rochester
Trends in Biochemical Sciences | Year: 2016

The APOBEC (apolipoprotein B mRNA editing catalytic polypeptide-like) family of proteins have diverse and important functions in human health and disease. These proteins have an intrinsic ability to bind to both RNA and single-stranded (ss) DNA. Both function and tissue-specific expression varies widely for each APOBEC protein. We are beginning to understand that the activity of APOBEC proteins is regulated through genetic alterations, changes in their transcription and mRNA processing, and through their interactions with other macromolecules in the cell. Loss of cellular control of APOBEC activities leads to DNA hypermutation and promiscuous RNA editing associated with the development of cancer or viral drug resistance, underscoring the importance of understanding how APOBEC proteins are regulated. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd


PubMed | University of Rochester and Oyagen Inc.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Trends in biochemical sciences | Year: 2016

The APOBEC (apolipoprotein B mRNA editing catalytic polypeptide-like) family of proteins have diverse and important functions in human health and disease. These proteins have an intrinsic ability to bind to both RNA and single-stranded (ss) DNA. Both function and tissue-specific expression varies widely for each APOBEC protein. We are beginning to understand that the activity of APOBEC proteins is regulated through genetic alterations, changes in their transcription and mRNA processing, and through their interactions with other macromolecules in the cell. Loss of cellular control of APOBEC activities leads to DNA hypermutation and promiscuous RNA editing associated with the development of cancer or viral drug resistance, underscoring the importance of understanding how APOBEC proteins are regulated.


PubMed | University of Rochester, Cogent and Oyagen Inc.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Trends in biochemical sciences | Year: 2014

HIV-1 viral infectivity factor (Vif) is a viral accessory protein that is required for HIV-1 infection due largely to its role in recruiting antiretroviral factors of the APOBEC3 (apolipoprotein B editing catalytic subunit-like 3) family to an E3 ubiquitin ligase complex for polyubiquitylation and proteasomal degradation. The crystal structure of the (near) full-length Vif protein in complex with Elongin (Elo)B/C, core-binding factor (CBF) and Cullin (Cul)5 revealed that Vif has a novel structural fold. In our opinion the structural data revealed not only the protein-protein interaction sites that determine Vif stability and interaction with cellular proteins, but also motifs driving Vif homodimerization, which are essential in Vif functionality and HIV-1 infection. Vif-mediated protein-protein interactions are excellent targets for a new class of antiretroviral therapeutics to combat AIDS.


PubMed | Innoventyx LLC, Southern Research Institute, Oyagen Inc. and ImQuest BioSciences Inc.
Type: | Journal: Antiviral research | Year: 2016

Camptothecin (CPT) is a natural product discovered to be active against various cancers through its ability to inhibit Topoisomerase I (TOP1). CPT analogs also have anti-HIV-1 (HIV) activity that was previously shown to be independent of TOP1 inhibition. We show that a cancer inactive CPT analog (O2-16) inhibits HIV infection by disrupting multimerization of the HIV protein Vif. Antiviral activity depended on the expression of the cellular viral restriction factor APOBEC3G (A3G) that, in the absence of functional Vif, has the ability to hypermutate HIV proviral DNA during reverse transcription. Our studies demonstrate that O2-16 has low cytotoxicity and inhibits Vif-dependent A3G degradation, enabling A3G packaging into HIV viral particles that results in A3G signature hypermutations in viral genomes. This antiviral activity was A3G-dependent and broadly neutralizing against sixteen HIV clinical isolates from groups M (subtypes A-G), N, and O as well as seven single and multi-drug resistant strains of HIV. Molecular modeling predicted binding near the PPLP motif crucial for Vif multimerization and activity. O2-16 also was active in blocking Vif degradation of APOBEC3F (A3F). We propose that CPT analogs not active against TOP1 have novel therapeutic potential as Vif antagonists that enable A3G-dependent hypermutation of HIV.


The present invention relates to the use of small molecules as anti-HIV agents that disrupt self-association of the viral infectivity factor (Vif) found in HIV and other retroviruses. The present invention also relates to methods of identifying agents that disrupt VIf self-association and methods of using these agents, including methods of treating or preventing HIV infection.


The present invention relates to the use of camptothecin derivatives as anti-HIV agents that disrupt self-association of the viral infectivity factor (Vif) found in HIV and other retroviruses. The present invention also relates to methods of identifying agents that disrupt VIf self-association and methods of using these agents, including methods of treating or preventing HIV infection.


PubMed | SUNY Geneseo, University of Wisconsin - Madison and Oyagen Inc.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: ACS chemical biology | Year: 2016

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) type 1 uses a -1 programmed ribosomal frameshift (-1 PRF) event to translate its enzymes from the same transcript used to encode the virus structural proteins. The frequency of this event is highly regulated, and significant deviation from the normal 5-10% frequency has been demonstrated to decrease viral infectivity. Frameshifting is primarily regulated by the Frameshift Stimulatory Signal RNA (FSS-RNA), a thermodynamically stable, highly conserved stem loop that has been proposed as a therapeutic target. We describe the design, synthesis, and testing of a series of N-methyl peptides able to bind the HIV-1 FSS RNA stem loop with low nanomolar affinity and high selectivity. Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) data indicates increased affinity is a reflection of a substantially enhanced on rate. Compounds readily penetrate cell membranes and inhibit HIV infectivity in a pseudotyped virus assay. Viral infectivity inhibition correlates with compound-dependent changes in the ratios of Gag and Gag-Pol in virus particles. As the first compounds with both single digit nanomolar affinities for the FSS RNA and an ability to inhibit HIV in cells, these studies support the use of N-methylation for enhancing the affinity, selectivity, and bioactivity of RNA-binding peptides.

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