Computational challenges of structure-based approaches applied to HIV

Curr Top Microbiol Immunol. 2015;389:31-51. doi: 10.1007/82_2015_432.


Here, we review some of the opportunities and challenges that we face in computational modeling of HIV therapeutic targets and structural biology, both in terms of methodology development and structure-based drug design (SBDD). Computational methods have provided fundamental support to HIV research since the initial structural studies, helping to unravel details of HIV biology. Computational models have proved to be a powerful tool to analyze and understand the impact of mutations and to overcome their structural and functional influence in drug resistance. With the availability of structural data, in silico experiments have been instrumental in exploiting and improving interactions between drugs and viral targets, such as HIV protease, reverse transcriptase, and integrase. Issues such as viral target dynamics and mutational variability, as well as the role of water and estimates of binding free energy in characterizing ligand interactions, are areas of active computational research. Ever-increasing computational resources and theoretical and algorithmic advances have played a significant role in progress to date, and we envision a continually expanding role for computational methods in our understanding of HIV biology and SBDD in the future.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-HIV Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Computational Biology
  • Computer Simulation
  • Drug Design
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy*
  • Humans


  • Anti-HIV Agents