Protein/peptide-based entry/fusion inhibitors as anti-HIV therapies: challenges and future direction

Rev Med Virol. 2016 Jan;26(1):4-20. doi: 10.1002/rmv.1853. Epub 2015 Aug 26.


The failures of several first-generation and second-generation small molecule drug-based anti-HIV therapies in various stages of clinical trials are an indication that there is a need for a paradigm shift in the future designs of anti-HIV therapeutics. Over the past several decades, various anti-HIV drugs have been developed, among them, protein/peptide-based therapies. From the first peptide discovered (SJ2176) to the first peptide approved by the Food and Drug Administration (DP178/T20/enfuvirtide/Fuzeon®), anti-HIV proteins/peptides as fusion/entry inhibitors have been shown to provide potent effects and benefits. This review summarizes the past and current endeavors in this area, discusses the potential mechanisms of action for various anti-HIV proteins/peptides, compares the advantages and disadvantages between the different proteins/peptides, and finally, examines the future direction of the field, specifically, strategies that will enhance the therapeutic efficacy of fusion/entry inhibitor-based anti-HIV proteins/peptides. Although there are numerous reviews highlighting the general field of entry/fusion inhibitors, there is a lack of literature focused on protein/peptide-based entry/fusion inhibitors for HIV therapy, and as a result, this review is intended to fill this void by summarizing the past, current, and future development of these macromolecules. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Publication types

  • Review