Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is the etiological agent of the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). The current strategy for the treatment of HIV infection is called Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART) and is based on cocktails of drugs that are currently approved by the Food and Drug Administration. These drugs include compounds that target the viral entry step and the enzymes reverse transcriptase or protease. The introduction of HAART has dramatically changed the landscape of HIV disease. Death from AIDS-related diseases has been reduced significantly since HAART came into use. Nevertheless it is not clear how long clinical benefit will last taking into account the emergence of multiple drug-resistant viral strains. Addition of new anti-HIV drugs targeting other steps of the viral replication cycle may increase the potency of inhibition and delay resistance development. HIV integrase is an essential enzyme in the HIV life cycle and is an attractive target for new drug development. Despite years of intensive research, only two classes of compounds that inhibit integration have been identified until now, namely the diketo acids and the pyranodipyrimidines. In this review we will point to new potential antiviral targets related to retroviral integration that are amenable to drug development. We will describe the pitfalls of currently used integrase assays and propose new strategies and technologies for the discovery of HIV integration inhibitors. Furthermore, we will describe the two classes of integrase inhibitors and discuss their antiviral activity, molecular mechanism of anti-HIV action and the selection of HIV resistance against these drugs.
Keywords: hiv, integrase, inhibitors, resistance, diketo acids, pyranodipyrimidines, ledgf
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