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Advances in Virology
Volume 2011, Article ID 165871, 13 pages
Research Article

Artificial 64-Residue HIV-1 Enhancer-Binding Peptide Is a Potent Inhibitor of Viral Replication in HIV-1-Infected Cells

1Biochemisches Institut, Universität Zürich, Winterthurerstrasse 190, CH-8057 Zürich, Switzerland
2Pharmazentrum Universität Basel, Klingelbergstrasse 50/70, CH-4056 Basel, Switzerland
3Swiss National Center for Retroviruses, Institute for Medical Virology, University of Zürich, Winterthurerstrasse 190, CH-8057 Zürich, Switzerland
4Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research, Maulbeerstrasse 66, P.O. Box 2543, CH-4002 Basel, Switzerland
5Département de Pédiatrie, Hôpital des Enfants HUG, CH-1211 Genève, Switzerland

Received 13 February 2011; Revised 23 May 2011; Accepted 6 June 2011

Academic Editor: George K. Lewis

Copyright © 2011 Mouhssin Oufir et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


An artificial HIV-1 enhancer-binding peptide was extended by nine consecutive arginine residues at the C-terminus and by the nuclear localization signal of SV40 large T antigen at the N-terminus. The resulting synthetic 64-residue peptide was found to bind to the two enhancers of the HIV-1 long terminal repeat, cross the plasma membrane and the nuclear envelope of human cells, and suppress the HIV-1 enhancer-controlled expression of a green fluorescent protein reporter gene. Moreover, HIV-1 replication is inhibited by this peptide in HIV-1-infected CEM-GFP cells as revealed by HIV-1 p24 ELISA and real-time RT-PCR of HIV-1 RNA. Rapid uptake of this intracellular stable and inhibitory peptide into the cells implies that this peptide may have the potential to attenuate HIV-1 replication in vivo.