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Albany, NY, United States

Lin X.,Albany Medical College | Lin X.,J. Craig Venter Institute | Paskaleva E.E.,Albany Medical College | Paskaleva E.E.,Palm Biologicals LLC | And 6 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2011

Background: Approximately 80% of all new HIV-1 infections are acquired through sexual contact. Currently, there is no clinically approved microbicide, indicating a clear and urgent therapeutic need. We recently reported that palmitic acid (PA) is a novel and specific inhibitor of HIV-1 fusion and entry. Mechanistically, PA inhibits HIV-1 infection by binding to a novel pocket on the CD4 receptor and blocks efficient gp120-to-CD4 attachment. Here, we wanted to assess the ability of PA to inhibit HIV-1 infection in cervical tissue ex vivo model of human vagina, and determine its effect on Lactobacillus (L) species of probiotic vaginal flora. Principal Findings: Our results show that treatment with 100-200 μM PA inhibited HIV-1 infection in cervical tissue by up to 50%, and this treatment was not toxic to the tissue or to L. crispatus and jensenii species of vaginal flora. In vitro, in a cell free system that is independent of in vivo cell associated CD4 receptor; we determined inhibition constant (Ki) to be ~2.53 μM. Significance: These results demonstrate utility of PA as a model molecule for further preclinical development of a safe and potent HIV-1 entry microbicide inhibitor. © 2011 Lin et al. Source

Paskaleva E.E.,Palm Biologicals LLC | Paskaleva E.E.,Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute | Arra M.,Palm Biologicals LLC | Arra M.,Albany Medical College | And 9 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

AIDS is a global pandemic that has seen the development of novel and effective treatments to improve the quality of life of those infected and reduction of spread of the disease. Palmitic Acid (PA), which we identified and isolated from Sargassum fusiforme, is a naturally occurring fatty acid that specifically inhibits HIV entry by binding to a novel pocket on the CD4 receptor. We also identified a structural analogue, 2-bromopalmitate (2-BP), as a more effective HIV entry inhibitor with a 20-fold increase in efficacy. We have used the structure-activity relationship (SAR) of 2-BP as a platform to identify new small chemical molecules that fit into the various identified active sites in an effort to identify more potent CD4 entry inhibitors. To validate further drug development, we tested the PA and 2-BP scaffold molecules for genotoxic potential. The FDA and International Conference on Harmonisation (ICH) recommends using a standardized 3-test battery for testing compound genotoxicity consisting of the bacterial reverse mutation assay, mouse lymphoma assay, and rat micronucleus assay. PA and 2-BP and their metabolites tested negative in all three genotoxicty tests. 2-BP is the first derivative of PA to undergo pre-clinical screening, which will enable us to now test multiple simultaneous small chemical structures based on activity in scaffold modeling across the dimension of pre-clinical testing to enable transition to human testing. © 2014 Paskaleva et al. Source

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