Computational study of hiv-1 gp41 nhr trimer: Inhibition mechanisms of n-substituted pyrrole derivatives and fragment-based virtual screening

Ju Bao, Jin F. Liu, Xiao He, John Z.H. Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Fusion of HIV-1 viral and host cellular membranes is an important step for HIV infection. The HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein mediating the membrane fusion consists of subunits gp120 and gp41 whereas gp120 recognizes the cell-surface receptors and gp41 promotes viral-cell membrane fusion. The trimeric helical complex composed of heterodimer of N-terminal and C-terminal extraviral segments has been used for the gp41 function study, and the trimeric N-terminal teptad repeat (NHR) is considered as an antiviral drug target for developing HIV-1 membrane fusion inhibitors. By using computational solvent probe mapping, we have explored druggable sites on the trimeric NHR peptides, and identified residues K574 and R579 as the hot spots for inhibitor designing. We further demonstrated that although NB-2 and NB-64 are all N-substituted Pyrrole derivatives and have very similar chemical structures, it is possible that diverse inhibitory mechanisms targeting different negative electrostatic residues (K574 and R579) exist. Results from fragment-based virtual screening identified series of potential lead compounds which could be used for further design of fusion inhibitors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1341001
JournalJournal of Theoretical and Computational Chemistry
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 1 2013



  • 6-helical bundle
  • HIV-1 gp41
  • N-substituted pyrrole derivatives
  • fragment-based screening
  • membrane fusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics

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