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Novel approaches to inhibiting HIV-1 replication

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Abstract

Considerable success has been achieved in the treatment of HIV-1 infection, and more than two-dozen antiretroviral drugs are available targeting several distinct steps in the viral replication cycle. However, resistance to these compounds emerges readily, even in the context of combination therapy. Drug toxicity, adverse drug-drug interactions, and accompanying poor patient adherence can also lead to treatment failure. These considerations make continued development of novel antiretroviral therapeutics necessary. In this article, we highlight a number of steps in the HIV-1 replication cycle that represent promising targets for drug discovery. These include lipid raft microdomains, the RNase H activity of the viral enzyme reverse transcriptase, uncoating of the viral core, host cell machinery involved in the integration of the viral DNA into host cell chromatin, virus assembly, maturation, and budding, and the functions of several viral accessory proteins. We discuss the relevant molecular and cell biology, and describe progress to date in developing inhibitors against these novel targets.
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