A specific protein disorder catalyzer of HIV-1 Nef

Adrien Lugari, Sebastian Breuer, Thibault Coursindel, Sandrine Opi, Audrey Restouin, Xiaoli Shi, Alexis Nazabal, Bruce E. Torbett, Jean Martinez, Yves Collette, Isabelle Parrot, Stefan T. Arold*, Xavier Morelli

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The HIV-1 auxiliary protein Nef is required for the onset and progression of AIDS in HIV-1-infected persons. Here, we have deciphered the mode of action of a second-generation inhibitor of Nef, DLC27-14, presenting a competitive IC 50 of ∼16 μM measured by MALDI-TOF experiments. Thermal protein denaturation experiments revealed a negative effect on stability of Nef in the presence of a saturating concentration of the inhibitor. The destabilizing action of DLC27-14 was confirmed by a HIV protease-based experiment, in which the protease sensitivity of DLC27-14-bound Nef was three times as high as that of apo Nef. The only compatible docking modes of action for DLC27-14 suggest that DLC27-14 promotes an opening of two α-helices that would destabilize the Nef core domain. DLC27-14 thus acts as a specific protein disorder catalyzer that destabilizes the folded conformation of the protein. Our results open novel avenues toward the development of next-generation Nef inhibitors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7401-7406
Number of pages6
JournalBioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 15 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The project was supported by the ANRS (Agence Nationale de Recherche sur le SIDA et les Hépatites Virales) and the CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique). This research is supported in part by the National Institutes of Health through MD Anderson’s Cancer Center Support Grant (CA016672). A.L. and S.O. were supported by a fellowship from the ANRS. T.C. was supported by a fellowship from the MESR (Ministère de l’Enseignement Superieur et de la Recherche). X.S. was supported by a fellowship from the French Embassy in China. S.B. was supported by CHRP-F09-SRI-205. We are grateful to Dr. I. Engels and S. Espinola for providing valuable technical expertise with the DSLS-based thermal protein denaturation at the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation. We also would like to greatly thank K. Muller for editorial assistance.


  • HIV-1 Nef inhibitor
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Molecular modeling
  • Protein-protein interaction inhibitor
  • Thermostability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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