Phlorotannins as HIV Vpu inhibitors, an in silico virtual screening study of marine natural products.
Biotechnol Appl Biochem. 2020 Aug 29. Epub 2020 Aug 29. PMID: 32860447
Mohammad Amin Langarizadeh
The importance of new effective treatment methodologies for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is undeniable for the medical society. Viral protein U (Vpu), one of the disparaged accessory proteins of HIV, is responsible for the dissemination of viral particles, and HIV mutants lacking Vpu protein have remarkably reduced pathogenicity. Here, we explored the marine natural products to find the leading structures which can potentially inhibit the activity of Vpu in silico. To fulfill this goal, we set up a virtual screening based on molecular docking to evaluate the binding capacity of different marine products to Vpu. For validation, we used molecular dynamics simulation and monitored the root mean square deviation value and binding interactions. The results were intriguing when we realized that the hit compounds (phlorotannins) had previously been identified as reverse transcriptase and HIV protease inhibitors. This research inaugurates a new road to combat HIV by multifaceted mode of action of these marine natural products without putting the normal cells in jeopardy (with their safe toxicological profile).