Archives of biochemistry and biophysics

Inhibition of the human immunodeficiency virus-1 protease and human immunodeficiency virus-1 replication by bathocuproine disulfonic acid Cu1+.

PMID 7574666


The protease encoded by the human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) is essential for processing viral polyproteins which contain the enzymes and structural proteins required for the infectious virus. It was previously found that cupric chloride, in the presence of dithiothreitol or ascorbic acid, could inhibit the HIV-1 protease. It was suggested that a Cu1+ chelate was the moiety responsible for inhibition of the protease. This hypothesis has now been investigated directly by utilizing the stable Cu1+ chelate, bathocuproine disulfonic acid Cu1+ (BCDS-Cu1+). BCDS-Cu1+ inhibited the HIV-1 wild type protease as well as a mutant HIV-1 protease lacking cysteines. BCDS-Cu1+ was a competitive inhibitor of the mutant HIV-1 protease with an apparent Ki of 1 microM. Replication of HIV-1 in human lymphocytes and the cytotoxic effect of HIV-1 in CEM cells was inhibited by micromolar BCDS-Cu1+. Inhibition of the protease and of HIV replication by BCDS-Cu1+ was dependent on the presence of Cu1+ as BCDS alone was ineffective. EDTA blocked the inhibition of the protease by Cu1+ but was unable to block inhibition of the protease by BCDS-Cu1+, indicating that the Cu1+ complex was the inhibitory agent. The apparent IC50 for BCDS-Cu1+ on the inhibition of replication by primary isolates of HIV-1 was 5 microM. However, BCDS-Cu1+ did not affect polyprotein processing in an H9 cell line chronically infected with HIV-1, indicating that BCDS-Cu1+ acts by yet another mechanism to block HIV infection. Other possible targets for BCDS-Cu1+ include inhibition of viral adsorption and/or inhibition of the HIV-1 integrase.

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Bathocuproinedisulfonic acid disodium salt hydrate
C26H18N2Na2O6S2 · xH2O