Long-Acting BMS-378806 Analogues Stabilize the State-1 Conformation of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Envelope Glycoproteins

J Virol. 2020 May 4;94(10):e00148-20. doi: 10.1128/JVI.00148-20. Print 2020 May 4.


During human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) entry into cells, the viral envelope glycoprotein (Env) trimer [(gp120/gp41)3] binds the receptors CD4 and CCR5 and fuses the viral and cell membranes. CD4 binding changes Env from a pretriggered (state-1) conformation to more open downstream conformations. BMS-378806 (here called BMS-806) blocks CD4-induced conformational changes in Env important for entry and is hypothesized to stabilize a state-1-like Env conformation, a key vaccine target. Here, we evaluated the effects of BMS-806 on the conformation of Env on the surface of cells and virus-like particles. BMS-806 strengthened the labile, noncovalent interaction of gp120 with the Env trimer, enhanced or maintained the binding of most broadly neutralizing antibodies, and decreased the binding of poorly neutralizing antibodies. Thus, in the presence of BMS-806, the cleaved Env on the surface of cells and virus-like particles exhibits an antigenic profile consistent with a state-1 conformation. We designed novel BMS-806 analogues that stabilized the Env conformation for several weeks after a single application. These long-acting BMS-806 analogues may facilitate enrichment of the metastable state-1 Env conformation for structural characterization and presentation to the immune system.IMPORTANCE The envelope glycoprotein (Env) spike on the surface of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) mediates the entry of the virus into host cells and is also the target for antibodies. During virus entry, Env needs to change shape. Env flexibility also contributes to the ability of HIV-1 to evade the host immune response; many shapes of Env raise antibodies that cannot recognize the functional Env and therefore do not block virus infection. We found that an HIV-1 entry inhibitor, BMS-806, stabilizes the functional shape of Env. We developed new variants of BMS-806 that stabilize Env in its natural state for long periods of time. The availability of such long-acting stabilizers of Env shape will allow the natural Env conformation to be characterized and tested for efficacy as a vaccine.

Keywords: entry inhibitor; envelope; immunogen; lentivirus; retrovirus; structure; vaccine; virus.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • A549 Cells
  • Antibodies, Neutralizing / immunology
  • CD4 Antigens / drug effects
  • CD4 Antigens / metabolism
  • Glycoproteins / chemistry*
  • Glycoproteins / drug effects*
  • Glycoproteins / genetics
  • HEK293 Cells
  • HIV Envelope Protein gp120 / chemistry*
  • HIV Envelope Protein gp120 / drug effects*
  • HIV Envelope Protein gp120 / genetics
  • HIV Envelope Protein gp120 / metabolism
  • HIV-1 / drug effects
  • HIV-1 / genetics
  • HIV-1 / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Ligands
  • Models, Molecular
  • Piperazines / pharmacology*
  • Protein Conformation
  • Virus Internalization / drug effects*


  • Antibodies, Neutralizing
  • BMS-378806
  • CD4 Antigens
  • Glycoproteins
  • HIV Envelope Protein gp120
  • Ligands
  • Piperazines