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HIV entry inhibitors: a new generation of antiretroviral drugs

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AIDS is presently treatable, and patients can have a good prognosis due to the success of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), but it is still not curable or preventable. High toxicity of HAART, and the emergence of drug resistance add to the imperative to continue research into new strategies and interventions. Considerable progress in the understanding of HIV attachment and entry into host cells has suggested new possibilities for rationally designing agents that interfere with this process. The approval and introduction of the fusion inhibitor enfuvirtide (Fuzeon) for clinical use signals a new era in AIDS therapeutics. Here we review the crucial steps the virus uses to achieve cell entry, which merit attention as potential targets, and the compounds at pre-clinical and clinical development stages, reported to effectively inhibit cell entry.

Keywords: HIV; HIV fusion inhibitors; HIV receptors; highly active antiretroviral therapy

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Applied Biochemistry and Immunology, Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Vassilika Vouton, Heraklion, Crete, Greece; 2: Greece Department of Virology, Medical School, University of Crete, Heraklion, Crete, Greece

Publication date: October 1, 2005


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