The persistence of a pool of latently HIV-1-infected cells despite combination anti-retroviral therapy treatment is the major roadblock for a cure. The BAF (mammalian SWI/SNF) chromatin remodeling complex is involved in establishing and maintaining viral latency, making it an attractive drug target for HIV-1 latency reversal. Here we report a high-throughput screen for inhibitors of BAF-mediated transcription in cells and the subsequent identification of a 12-membered macrolactam. This compound binds ARID1A-specific BAF complexes, prevents nucleosomal positioning, and relieves transcriptional repression of HIV-1. Through this mechanism, these compounds are able to reverse HIV-1 latency in an in vitro T cell line, an ex vivo primary cell model of HIV-1 latency, and in patient CD4+ T cells without toxicity or T cell activation. These macrolactams represent a class of latency reversal agents with unique mechanism of action, and can be combined with other latency reversal agents to improve reservoir targeting.
Keywords: ARID1A; BAF complex; HIV-1 latency; SWI/SNF; chromatin remodeling inhibitor; high-throughput screening.
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