The antiviral compound BIT225 inhibits HIV-1 replication in myeloid dendritic cells

Gabriela Khoury, Gary Ewart, Carolyn Luscombe, Michelle Miller, John Wilkinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Previous studies with BIT225 (N-carbamimidoyl-5-(1-methyl-1H-pyrazol-4-yl)-2-naphthamide) have demonstrated a unique antiviral activity that blocks the release of HIV-1 from monocyte-derived macrophages (MDM). Antagonising the ion channel formed by HIV-1 Vpu, BIT225 preferentially targets de novo intracellular virus produced in 'virus-containing compartments' of MDM. In primary infections, dendritic cells (DC) are one of the first cells infected by HIV-1 and can transfer virus to more permissive CD4(+) T cells, making these cells an important target for novel antiviral therapies. To extend previous findings with BIT225, we aimed to further characterise the antiviral activity of BIT225 on HIV-1 replication in monocyte-derived DC (MDDC).

RESULTS: The anti-HIV-1 activity of BIT225 was evaluated in vitro within MDDC alone and in co-cultures with activated CD4(+) T cells to examine the effect of the drug on HIV-1 transfer. Antiviral activity was determined by measuring HIV-1 reverse transcriptase activity in the culture supernatant of BIT225 treated and DMSO control cultures. A single dose of BIT225 resulted in a mean (SE) peak inhibition of HIV-1 release from MDDC by 74.5 % (±0.6) following 14 days of culture and a 6-fold reduction of HIV-1 transfer to activated uninfected CD4(+) T cells in co-culture.

CONCLUSIONS: HIV-1 release from MDDC was inhibited by BIT225. This data broadens the drug's antiviral activity profile within cells of the myeloid lineage. These findings suggest a potential role for BIT225 in reducing HIV-1 production and preventing viral dissemination in early and chronic infection and may assist in limiting virus spread with any ongoing viral replication during antiretroviral therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7
Number of pages5
JournalAIDS Research and Therapy
Publication statusPublished - 8 Feb 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Antiviral
  • Dendritic cells
  • HIV-1
  • Myeloid
  • Viral transfer

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