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Related to protease inhibitor: fusion inhibitor, Serine protease inhibitor
HIV-1 protease activity is critical for the terminal maturation of infectious virions. Protease inhibitors specific for HIV-1 competitively inhibit this enzyme, thereby preventing the maturation of virions capable of infecting other cells. These agents can reduce the plasma viral load (level of HIV RNA in the circulation) in a patient with AIDS below the measurable level. Their use has been shown to decrease the risk of disease progression and mortality in patients with HIV infection. They have also been found to improve CD4 counts and reverse AIDS dementia in some patients. Protease inhibitors are administered in combination with nucleoside analogues (nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors) to exploit the different modes of action of these two classes of antiviral drug. Because of increasing viral resistance to protease inhibitors, combination regimens including three agents are standard. A few strains of HIV show resistance to all available protease inhibitors. Significant side-effects of protease inhibitors include elevation of cholesterol and triglyceride levels, insulin resistance and emergence of frank DM, and cosmetically objectionable lipodystrophy (excessive accumulation of fat in the abdomen and breasts accompanied by fat wasting in the face, extremities, and buttocks). Protease inhibitors currently in use include amprenavir, indinavir, nelfinavir, ritonavir, and saquinavir.
protease inhibitorAlternative pharmacology
Any of the substances that inhibit the proteases which promote growth of breast, colon and other cancers. Protease inhibitors neutralise various carcinogens and are present in whole-grain oats, rice, potatoes, chickpeas, kidney beans and other foods.