Protease Inhibitors as Treatments for AIDS
The AIDS virus produces an enzyme, HIV-1 protease, that carves up a large polypeptide precursor into several proteins essential for viral replication. Because of its importance to the virus, HIV-1 protease has been a target for drugs designed to inhibit it.
HIV-1 protease is an aspartyl protease, like pepsin and rhizopuspepsin discussed on the page before. This means that peptide analogs that mimic the substrate will inhibit HIV-1 protease in a similar manner.