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Mol Med. 1995 November; 1(7): 758–767.
PMCID: PMC2230009

Compounds that target novel cellular components involved in HIV-1 transcription.


BACKGROUND: Therapeutic intervention designed to block expression of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) at a cellular level may slow the clinical progression of HIV-1 disease. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Cellular models of latent (OM-10.1 and U1) and chronic (8E5) HIV infection were used to evaluate two benzothiophene derivatives, PD 121871 and PD 144795, for an ability to inhibit HIV activation and expression. RESULTS: The benzothiophene derivatives were effective at micromolar concentrations in preventing tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF alpha)-induced HIV-1 expression in OM 10.1 and U1 cultures. These compounds inhibited the activation of HIV-1 transcription; however, this inhibition was selective in that another TNF alpha-induced response, the transcription of autocrine TNF alpha, was unaffected. Constitutive HIV-1 expression by chronically infected 8E5 cells was also significantly reduced when treated with these experimental compounds. In TNF alpha-treated OM-10.1 cultures, the inhibition of HIV-1 transcription by these compounds was not due to a block of nuclear factor-kappa B induction. The benzothiophene derivatives also inhibited HIV-1 activation by phorbol ester treatment of OM-10.1 promyelocytes, although no inhibition of cellular differentiation toward a macrophage-like phenotype was observed. Furthermore, these experimental compounds induced a state of HIV-1 latency in cytokine-activated OM-10.1 cultures even when maintained under constant TNF alpha stimulation. The benzothiophene derivatives did not inhibit the activity of the HIV-1 trans-activator, Tat, when evaluated in transient transfection assays. CONCLUSIONS: The benzothiophene derivatives appear to inhibit a critical cellular component, distinct from nuclear factor-kappa B, involved in HIV transcription and may serve to identify new therapeutic targets to restrict HIV expression.

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Selected References

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