Biology Faculty Proceedings, Presentations, Speeches, Lectures

Event Name/Location

2020 Experimental Biology Annual Meeting

Streaming Media

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) affects approximately 37 million people worldwide and results in over 1 million deaths annually. A class of drugs first developed in 1995 inhibits the enzyme HIV‐1 protease, thus preventing the maturation of an HIV precursor protein. There are now over 10 protease inhibitors available to treat HIV. Multiple mutations in the protein have made this treatment less effective. The CREST (Connecting Researchers, Educators, and STudents) team at Nova Southeastern University modeled the interaction between HIV‐1 protease and its competitive inhibitors. Darunavir is currently one of the strongest competitive inhibitors, as it binds effectively to the substrate envelope and has yielded a lower resistance for patients. The most effective treatment is a combination of two of these inhibitors: Darunavir and Ritonavir. In order to explain how these drugs work, the active site of the non‐mutated wild‐type HIV‐1 protease was depicted as a binding box model. The protease inhibitors Darunavir, Ritonavir, and our hypothetical drug, “Sharkavir” were 3D printed to show how they fit into the protease active site. Details of the wild‐type HIV‐1 protease, as well as the drugs Darunavir, and Ritonavir, were found in the Protein Data Bank files, 1T3R, 4DQF, and 1N49, respectively. Both structures were imported into Jmol: a protein visualization software. The new protease inhibitor molecule, “Sharkavir”, was designed as a combination of Darunavir and Ritonavir using Marvin Sketch: a software used to manipulate molecular structures. The molecular structure of the hypothetical drug “Sharkavir” is shown below.

Additional Comments

NSF-IUSE grant #: 1725940

Conference Proceeding Title

The FASEB Journal, Volume 34, Issue S1







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