Pharmacophore identification of a chemokine receptor (CXCR4) antagonist, T22 ([Tyr(5,12),Lys7]-polyphemusin II), which specifically blocks T cell-line-tropic HIV-1 infection

Bioorg Med Chem. 1998 Jul;6(7):1033-41. doi: 10.1016/s0968-0896(98)00061-3.


We have previously found that T22 ([Tyr(5,12), Lys7]-polyphemusin II) has strong anti-human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) activity, and that T22 inhibits T cell-line-tropic HIV-1 infection mediated by CXCR4/fusin. T22 is an 18-residue peptide amide, which takes an antiparallel beta-sheet structure that is maintained by two disulfide bridges. Structure-activity relationship (SAR) studies on T22 have disclosed the contributions of each region of T22 to activity or cytotoxicity, and have provided the following useful information to develop new CXCR4 antagonists: The number of Arg residues in the N-terminal and C-terminal regions of T22 is closely related to anti-HIV activity. Addition of a variety of functional groups at the N-terminal end results in increases in activity. Disulfide rings, especially the major disulfide loop, are indispensable for anti-HIV activity and maintenance of the beta-sheet structure. Trp3 can be replaced by other aromatic residues (Tyr, Phe and L-2-naphthylalanine). Between two repeats of Tyr-Arg-Lys, which are a characteristic structure in T22, Tyr-Arg-Lys in the N-terminal portion is more closely associated with anti-HIV activity and maintenance of the beta-sheet structure. A positive charge in the side chain at the (i + 1) position of the beta-turn region is necessary for strong activity. Through these studies, we have found several compounds having higher selectivity indexes (50% cytotoxic concentration/50% effective concentration) than that of T22.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Anti-HIV Agents / chemical synthesis
  • Anti-HIV Agents / chemistry*
  • Anti-HIV Agents / pharmacology
  • Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides*
  • Cell Line
  • Circular Dichroism
  • HIV-1 / drug effects*
  • HIV-1 / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Peptides / chemical synthesis
  • Peptides / chemistry*
  • Peptides / pharmacology
  • Protein Structure, Secondary
  • Receptors, CXCR4 / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • T-Lymphocytes / drug effects*
  • T-Lymphocytes / virology


  • Anti-HIV Agents
  • Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides
  • Peptides
  • Receptors, CXCR4
  • T22 protein, synthetic