DDX3X inhibitors, an effective way to overcome HIV-1 resistance targeting host proteins

Eur J Med Chem. 2020 Aug 15;200:112319. doi: 10.1016/j.ejmech.2020.112319. Epub 2020 May 7.


The huge resources that had gone into Human Immunodeficiency virus (HIV) research led to the development of potent antivirals able to suppress viral load in the majority of treated patients, thus dramatically increasing the life expectancy of people living with HIV. However, life-long treatments could result in the emergence of drug-resistant viruses that can progressively reduce the number of therapeutic options, facilitating the progression of the disease. In this scenario, we previously demonstrated that inhibitors of the human DDX3X helicase can represent an innovative approach for the simultaneous treatment of HIV and other viral infections such as Hepatitis c virus (HCV). We reported herein 6b, a novel DDX3X inhibitor that thanks to its distinct target of action is effective against HIV-1 strains resistant to currently approved drugs. Its improved in vitro ADME properties allowed us to perform preliminary in vivo studies in mice, which highlighted optimal biocompatibility and an improved bioavailability. These results represent a significant advancement in the development of DDX3X inhibitors as a novel class of broad spectrum and safe anti-HIV-1 drugs.

Keywords: Antiviral agents; Coinfections; DDX3X; Drug resistance; HIV-1; Host factors.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-HIV Agents / chemistry
  • Anti-HIV Agents / pharmacology
  • DEAD-box RNA Helicases / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Drug Resistance, Viral / drug effects*
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • HIV-1 / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Virus Diseases / drug therapy


  • Anti-HIV Agents
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • DDX3X protein, human
  • DEAD-box RNA Helicases