Discovery of a small molecule agonist of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase p110α that reactivates latent HIV-1

Geneviève Doyon, Michele D Sobolewski, Kelly Huber, Deborah McMahon, John W Mellors, Nicolas Sluis-Cremer
PloS One 2014, 9 (1): e84964
Combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) can effectively suppress HIV-1 replication, but the latent viral reservoir in resting memory CD4(+) T cells is impervious to cART and represents a major barrier to curing HIV-1 infection. Reactivation of latent HIV-1 represents a possible strategy for elimination of this reservoir. In this study we describe the discovery of 1,2,9,10-tetramethoxy-7H-dibenzo[de,g]quinolin-7-one (57704) which reactivates latent HIV-1 in several cell-line models of latency (J89GFP, U1 and ACH-2). 57704 also increased HIV-1 expression in 3 of 4 CD8(+)-depleted blood mononuclear cell preparations isolated from HIV-1-infected individuals on suppressive cART. In contrast, vorinostat increased HIV-1 expression in only 1 of the 4 donors tested. Importantly, 57704 does not induce global T cell activation. Mechanistic studies revealed that 57704 reactivates latent HIV-1 via the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/protein kinase B (Akt) signaling pathway. 57704 was found to be an agonist of PI3K with specificity to the p110α isoform, but not the p110β, δ or γ isoforms. Taken together, our work suggests that 57704 could serve as a scaffold for the development of more potent activators of latent HIV-1. Furthermore, it highlights the involvement of the PI3K/Akt pathway in the maintenance of HIV-1 latency.

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