Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) dramatically changed the course of HIV infection. Currently, this therapy involves the use of agents from at least two distinct classes of antivirals: a protease inhibitor (PI) in combination with two nucleoside/nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors (N(t)RTIs), or a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) in combination with NRTIs. Recently, the third family of antivirals started to be used clinically, with the advent of enfuvirtide, the first fusion inhibitor (FI). Several pharmacological agents are available form these classes of antivirals, NRTIs, NNRTIs, PIs and FIs, which will be briefly reviewed here. Some more agents are in advanced clinical evaluation or have recently been approved (such as tenofovir, a NtRTI; atazanavir, a PI; tipranavir, another PI), mainly against drug-resistant viruses. Compounds inhibiting HIV integrase, the third enzyme of HIV, are also available ultimately, with several such derivatives in clinical trials (L-731, 988 and S-1360). Another approach to inhibit the growth of retroviruses, including HIV, targets the ejection of zinc ions from critical zinc finger viral proteins, which has as a consequence the inhibition of viral replication in the absence of mutations leading to drug resistance phenotypes. All steps in the process of HIV entry into the cell may be targeted by specific compounds that might be developed as novel types of antiretrovirals. Thus, inhibitors of the gp120 - CD4 interaction have been detected (zintevir, FP-21399 and BMS-378806 in clinical trials). Small molecule chemokine antagonists acting as HIV entry inhibitors also were described in the last period, which interact both with the CXCR4 coreceptor (such as AMD3100; AMD3465; ALX40-4C; T22, T134 and T140), or which are antagonist of the CCR5 coreceptor (TAK-779, TAK-220, SCH-C, SCH-D, E913, AK-602 and NSC 651016 in clinical trials), together with new types of fusion inhibitors possessing the same mechanism of action as enfuvirtide (such as T1249). Compounds interacting with Tat/Tar have also been detected which inhibit HIV replication in low micromolar range (EM2487, tamacrazine, CGP 64222 or CGA 137053 among others). Unexploited viral and cellular targets (such as the maturation process - with a first potent compound available, PA-457; the cellular proteins Tsg101, APOBEC3G, or the viral ones Vif, Rev or RNase H) are also presented, together with recently emerged approaches for eradication of HIV reservoirs. A review on the pharmacology and interactions of these agents with other drugs is presented here, with emphasis on how these pharmacological interferences may improve the clinical use of antivirals, or how side effects due to these drugs may be managed better by taking them into account.
human immunodeficiency virus (hiv), nucleoside/nucleotide reverse, transcriptase inhibitors (n(t)rtis), cytomegalovirus (hcmv) infections, capsid (ca), rna response element (rre), dna polymerase, dna chain termination
Universita degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Chimica, Laboratorio di Chimica Bioinorganica, Via della Lastruccia, 3, Rm. 188, I-50019 Sesto Fiorentino (Florence), Italy.