The pharmacological relevance of ODNs forming G-quadruplexes as anti-HIV agents has been extensively reported in the literature over the last few years. Recent detailed studies have elucidated the peculiar arrangement adopted by many G-quadruplex-based aptamers and provided insight into their mechanism of action. In this review, we have reported the history of a strong anti-HIV agent: the 6-mer d(TGGGAG) sequence, commonly called “Hotoda’s sequence”. In particular, all findings reported on this sequence and its modified sequences have been discussed considering the following research phases: (i) discovery of the first 5′-modified active d(TGGGAG) sequences; (ii) synthesis of a variety of end-modified d(TGGGAG) sequences; (iii) biophysical and NMR investigations of natural and modified Hotoda’s sequences; (iv); kinetic studies on the most active 5′-modified d(TGGGAG) sequences; and (v) extensive anti-HIV screening of G-quadruplexes formed by d(TGGGAG) sequences. This review aims to clarify all results obtained over the years on Hotoda’s sequence, revealing its potentiality as a strong anti-HIV agent (EC50
= 14 nM).
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