A06 – Characterization and optimization of the CXCR4 antagonist EPI-X4 (Jan Münch, Florian Klein, Elsa Sanchez-Garcia)

Screening of a blood-derived peptide library for HIV-1 inhibitors identified a small fragment of human serum albumin, named EPI-X4, as a potent and specific inhibitor of CXCR4 signaling, which plays a key role in immunity, cancer and cellular homeostasis. This project will elucidate the in vivo generation and (patho)physiological role of EPI-X4 and clarify whether it represents the long-sought gatekeeper preventing sexual transmission of CXCR4-tropic HIV-1 strains. Since CXCR4 is a promising drug target, the project will also combine comprehensive molecular modeling simulations and functional assays to generate optimized derivatives for cancer therapy.


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Principal Investigators

Klein, Florian, Prof. Dr.

Department of Internal Medicine I
Center for Molecular Medicine Cologne
University of Cologne
Robert-Koch-Str. 21
50931 Cologne
Tel: 0221 478 89693

Münch, Jan, Prof. Dr.

Institute of Molecular Virology
Ulm University Medical Center
Meyerhofstr. 1
89081 Ulm
Tel: 0731 50065150