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We recently described the isolation and structural characterization of 2'-fluoropyrimidine-substituted RNA aptamers that bind to gp120 of R5 strains of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 and thereby potently neutralize the infectivity of phylogenetically diverse R5 strains. Here we investigate the physical basis of their antiviral action. We show that both N-linked oligosaccharides and the variable loops V1/V2 and V3 are not required for binding of one aptamer, B40, to gp120. Using surface plasmon resonance binding analyses, we show that the aptamer binds to the CCR5-binding site on gp120 in a relatively CD4-independent manner, providing a mechanistic explanation for its neutralizing potency.

Original publication




Journal article


J Virol

Publication Date





13806 - 13810


Anti-HIV Agents, Aptamers, Nucleotide, Binding Sites, HIV Envelope Protein gp120, HIV-1, RNA, Receptors, CCR5, Surface Plasmon Resonance, Virus Replication