Neutrons key to discovering new HIV drugs? An interview with Dr Matthew Blakeley

THOUGHT LEADERS SERIES…insight from the world’s leading experts.
A. Cashin-Garbutt. News-Medical Life Sciences, July 2016;

Neutrons probe structure of enzyme critical to development of next-generation HIV drugs

A team led by the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory used neutron analysis to better understand a protein implicated in the replication of HIV, the retrovirus that causes AIDS.
J. Rumsey., May 2016;

Fighting HIV with neutrons

When thinking about diffraction studies, X-rays most often come to mind, but neutrons can also provide important structural information – and could help in the fight against HIV.
M. Blakely. Science in School, February 2015;

Neutron study aims to improve HIV drugs

A neutron study of a common component of HIV drugs has revealed that the component is not as good at bonding as had been thought.
J. Cartwright. Physics World, August 2013;

In the Spotlight: Neutron Crystallography

The potential has been acutely demonstrated in a recent study of interactions between a common clinical inhibitor and HIV-1 protease – an enzyme essential for the replication of the virus.
European Biopharmaceutical Review, Spring 2014;

Neutron crystallography aids in drug design

Neutron crystallography can prove vital towards a better understanding of many biological processes, such as enzyme mechanisms and can help guide structure-based drug design.
International Union of Crystallography. ScienceDaily, September 2016;

Visualizing Tetrahedral Oxyanion Bound in HIV-1 Protease Using Neutrons: Implications for the Catalytic Mechanism and Drug Design

Mukesh Kumar, Kalyaneswar Mandal, Matthew P. Blakeley, Troy Wymore, Stephen B. H. Kent, John M. Louis, Amit Das, and Andrey Kovalevsky. ACS Omega 2020;

Proton transfer and drug binding details revealed in neutron diffraction studies of wild-type and drug resistant HIV-1 protease

Kovalevsky A, Gerlits O, Beltran K, Weiss KL, Keen DA, Blakeley MP, Louis JM, Weber IT. Methods Enzymol. (2020) 634, 257-279;

Structure determination of the myristoylated human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) Gag matrix

Biointerphases 12, 02D408 (2017);

Room temperature neutron crystallography of drug resistant HIV-1 protease uncovers limitations of X-ray structural analysis at 100K

Gerlits OO, Keen DA, Blakeley MP, Louis JM, Weber IT, Kovalevsky AY. J. Medicinal Chemistry (2017) 60(5): 2018–2025;

Joint X-ray/neutron crystallographic study of HIV-1 protease with clinical inhibitor amprenavir – insights for drug design

Weber IT, Waltman MJ, Mustyakimov M, Blakeley MP, Keen DA, Ghosh AK, Langan P, Kovalevsky AY. J. Medicinal Chemistry (2013) 56(13): 5631–5635;

The helix-to-sheet transition of an HIV-1 fusion peptide derivative changes the mechanical properties of lipid bilayer membranes

William T. Heller, Piotr A. Zolnierczuk;