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Discovery of a Double-Stapled Short Peptide as a Long-Acting HIV-1 Inactivator with Potential for Oral Bioavailability.

Different from most antiretroviral drugs that act as passive defenders to inhibit HIV-1 replication inside the host cell, virus inactivators can attack and inactivate HIV-1 virions without relying on their replication cycle. Herein, we describe the discovery of a hydrocarbon double-stapled helix peptide, termed D26. D26 is based on the HIV-1 gp41 protein lentiviral lytic peptide-3 motif (LLP3) sequence, which can efficiently inhibit HIV-1 infection and inactivate cell-free HIV-1 virions. It was noted that D26 was highly resistant to proteolytic degradation and exhibited a remarkably extended in vivo elimination half-life. Additionally, relative to its linear, nonstapled version, D26 exhibited much higher exposure in sanctuary sites for HIV-1. Amazingly, this lead compound also demonstrated detectable oral absorption. Thus, it can be concluded that D26 is a promising candidate for further development as a long-acting, orally applicable HIV-1 inactivator for the treatment of HIV-1 infection.

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