With the discovery that CCR5 is the critical protein required for infection by M-tropic HIV, has come huge research efforts, both in academia and industry, to try to exploit this finding. Thus, research advances in the fields of virology, structural protein chemistry, and receptor pharmacology have combined to add a new understanding to the process of HIV fusion and possible mechanisms to prevent HIV entry. This review will approach this field from a receptor pharmacology viewpoint and outline some concepts of receptor allosterism and protein-protein interaction which may be relevant to CCR5 blockade. Many of these ideas may be explored in a practical sense with the advent of new small molecule CCR5 inhibitors currently entering the clinic.
Keywords: CCR5, HIV infection, chemokine receptors, viral entry, receptor allosterism
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