• antiviral agents;
  • drug design;
  • human immunodeficiency virus;
  • new targets;
  • RNA recognition


The human immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV-1) replication cycle is finely tuned with many important steps involving RNA–RNA or protein–RNA interactions, all of them being potential targets for the development of new antiviral compounds. This cycle can also be considered as a good benchmark for the evaluation of early-stage strategies aiming at designing drugs that bind to RNA, with the possibility to correlate in vitro activities with antiviral properties. In this review, we highlight different approaches developed to interfere with four important steps of the HIV-1 replication cycle: the early stage of reverse transcription, the transactivation of viral transcription, the nuclear export of partially spliced transcripts and the dimerization step.