9-[2-(phosphonomethoxy)ethyl]adenine (PMEA), an acyclic nucleoside phosphonate analog, is active against several retroviruses and herpesviruses and has shown anti-human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) activity in clinical trials. Serial passage of HIV type 1 (strain IIIb, in MT2 cells in increasing concentrations of PMEA resulted in viruses with > 12-fold increases in their 50% inhibitory concentrations of PMEA compared with that for strain IIIb. Sequence analyses of these PMEA-selected viruses demonstrated the presence of a novel lysine-to-glutamic acid mutation at amino acid 70 (K70E) in HIV reverse transcriptase. A recombinant virus carrying the K70E mutation was constructed and showed a 10-fold increase in its 50% inhibitory concentrations of PMEA and 2',3'-dideoxy-3'-thiacytidine but showed wild-type susceptibility levels to 2',3'-dideoxycytosine, 2',3'-dideoxyinosine,2',3'-didehydro-2'3'-dideoxythymidine, 3'-azido-3'-deoxythymidine, foscarnet, and two additional phosphonates, 9-[(R)-2-(phosphonomethoxy)propyl]adenine and 9-[2,5-dihydro-5-(phosphonomethoxy)-2-furanyl]adenine. Additionally, the K70E recombinant showed a minor reduction in growth kinetics compared with those of the wild-type virus in vitro.