Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) reverse transcriptase (RT) resistance mutations K65R and M184V result in changes in susceptibility to several nucleoside and nucleotide RT inhibitors. K65R-containing viruses showed decreases in susceptibility to tenofovir, didanosine (ddI), abacavir, and (−)-β-d-dioxolane guanosine (DXG; the active metabolite of amdoxovir) but appeared to be fully susceptible to zidovudine and stavudine in vitro. Viruses containing the K65R and M184V mutations showed further decreases in susceptibility to ddI and abacavir but increased susceptibility to tenofovir compared to the susceptibilities of viruses with the K65R mutation. Enzymatic and viral replication analyses were undertaken to elucidate the mechanisms of altered drug susceptibilities and potential fitness defects for the K65R and K65R+M184V mutants. The relative inhibitory capacities (Ki/Km) of the active metabolites of tenofovir, ddI, and DXG were increased for the RT containing the K65R mutation compared to that for the wild-type RT, but the relative inhibitory capacity of abacavir was only minimally increased. For the mutant viruses with the K65R and M184V mutations, the increase in tenofovir susceptibility compared to that of the mutants with K65R correlated with a decrease in the tenofovir inhibitory capacity that was mediated primarily by an increased Km of dATP. The decrease in susceptibility to ddI by mutants with the K65R and M184V mutations correlated with an increase in the inhibitory capacity mediated by an increased Ki. ATP-mediated removal of carbovir as well as small increases in the inhibitory capacity of carbovir appear to contribute to the resistance of mutants with the K65R mutation and the mutants with the K65R and M184V mutations to abacavir. Finally, both the HIV-1 K65R mutant and, more notably, the HIV-1 K65R+M184V double mutant showed reduced replication capacities and reduced RT processivities in vitro, consistent with a potential fitness defect in vivo and the low prevalence of the K65R mutation among isolates from antiretroviral agent-experienced patients.
We describe an unusual pathway of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 reverse transcriptase resistance during therapy with tenofovir-emtricitabine, characterized initially by the mutations K70E and M184V and later by K70G and M184V, with the two mutations coexisting on the same viral genome. Phenotypic resistance to lamivudine, emtricitabine, abacavir, didanosine, and tenofovir was observed, whereas susceptibility to zidovudine and stavudine was preserved.
A K65R mutation in HIV-1 reverse transcriptase can occur with the failure of tenofovir-, didanosine-, abacavir-, and, in some cases, stavudine-containing regimens and leads to reduced phenotypic susceptibility to these drugs and hypersusceptibility to zidovudine, but its clinical impact is poorly described. We identified isolates with the K65R mutation within the Stanford Resistance Database and a French cohort for which subsequent treatment and virological response data were available. The partial genotypic susceptibility score (pGSS) was defined as the genotypic susceptibility score (GSS) excluding the salvage regimen's nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI) component. A three-part virologic response variable was defined (e.g., complete virologic response, partial virologic response, and no virologic response). Univariate, multivariate, and bootstrap analyses evaluated factors associated with the virologic response, focusing on the contributions of zidovudine and tenofovir. Seventy-one of 130 patients (55%) achieved a complete virologic response (defined as an HIV RNA level of <200 copies/ml). In univariate analyses, pGSS and zidovudine use in the salvage regimen were predictors of the virologic response. In a multivariate analysis, pGSS and zidovudine and tenofovir use were associated with the virologic response. Bootstrap analyses showed similar reductions in HIV RNA levels with zidovudine or tenofovir use (0.5 to 0.9 log10). In the presence of K65R, zidovudine and tenofovir are associated with similar reductions in HIV RNA levels. Given its tolerability, tenofovir may be the preferred agent over zidovudine even in the presence of the K65R mutation.
The L74V and M184V mutations in the reverse transcriptase (RT) gene of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) are frequently associated with resistance to the nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors abacavir, didanosine, and lamivudine. Yet viruses containing any of these mutations often display hypersusceptibility to zidovudine (ZDV). Two distinct mechanisms have been described to explain HIV-1 drug resistance. One of these involves diminished rates of incorporation of the nucleotide analogue by mutated RT, while the other mechanism involves increased rates of phosphorolytic excision of the drug-terminated primer. To understand the biochemical mechanisms responsible for the hypersensitization of L74V-containing viruses to ZDV, we studied the efficiency of excision of ZDV-monophosphate (ZDV-MP)-terminated primers by recombinant wild-type and mutated HIV-1 RTs in cell-free assays. We observed that the L74V mutation in RT caused reductions in ATP-dependent removal of ZDV-MP from newly synthesized viral DNA. In addition, we determined that the L74V and M184V mutations did not affect the ratio between the populations of RT-DNA/DNA complexes found at pre- and posttranslocational stages; however, they might have affected proper alignment between incorporated chain terminator and pyrophosphate donor, substrate orientation, affinity for ATP, and/or primer-template substrate. Finally, we confirmed previous findings that L74V-containing viruses display diminished replication capacity and that this is associated with reduced levels of synthesis of early reverse-transcribed viral DNA molecules.
The rapid failure of initial therapy with combinations of nucleoside/nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTI) that exclude zidovudine has not been fully explained by standard virus population analyses of HIV-1 drug resistance. We therefore investigated HIV-1 genotype and phenotype at the single genome level in samples from patients on a failing regimen of tenofovir (TNV), didanosine (ddI), and lamivudine (3TC).
Single genome sequencing was performed on nine failure samples containing both K65R and M184V mutations by standard genotype, either as wild-type/mutant mixtures (6/9) or as mutant only (3/9). Recombinant clones with different combinations of observed mutations were generated and tested for NRTI susceptibility.
Of the 204 single genome sequences analyzed, 50% were K65R/M184V double-mutants, 38% were M184V single-mutants, 10% were M184I single-mutants, and only 1% (2 sequences) were K65R single-mutants. Phenotypic testing of recombinant clones showed a significant increase in resistance for double-mutants: mean fold-resistance to ABC, ddI, and TNV was 6.5, 4.3, and 1.6 for K65R/M184V double-mutants versus 2.5, 1.9, and 0.6 for M184V single-mutants, respectively (p<0.001).
Mutants with K65R and M184V linked on the same genome were the most common HIV-1 variants in samples analyzed from patients failing TNV, ddI, and 3TC with both mutations detected by standard genotype. The double-mutant exhibited reduced susceptibility to all three NRTI in the regimen. This resistant phenotype, resulting from just two linked point mutations, likely contributes to rapid failure of NRTI combinations that exclude zidovudine.
Removal of nucleoside chain terminator inhibitors mediated by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) reverse transcriptase (RT) using ATP as an acceptor molecule has been proposed as a novel mechanism of HIV resistance. Recombinant wild-type and mutant HIV type 1 (HIV-1) RT enzymes with thymidine analog resistance mutations D67N, K70R, and T215Y were analyzed for their ability to remove eight nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors in the presence of physiological concentrations of ATP. The order for the rate of removal of the eight inhibitors by the mutant RT enzyme was zidovudine (AZT) > stavudine (d4T) ≫ zalcitabine (ddC) > abacavir > amdoxovir (DAPD) > lamivudine (3TC) > didanosine (ddI) > tenofovir. Thymidine analogs AZT and d4T were the most significantly removed by the mutant enzyme, suggesting that removal of these inhibitors by the ATP-dependent removal mechanism contributes to the AZT and d4T resistance observed in patients with HIV expressing thymidine analog resistance mutations. ATP-dependent removal of tenofovir was 22- to 35-fold less efficient than removal of d4T and AZT, respectively. The addition of ATP and the next complementary deoxynucleoside triphosphate caused a reduction of ATP-mediated removal of d4T, ddC, and DAPD, while AZT and abacavir removal was unaffected. The reduction of d4T, ddC, and DAPD removal in the presence of the deoxynucleoside triphosphate could explain the minor changes in susceptibility to these drugs observed in conventional in vitro phenotypic assays using cells that have higher deoxynucleoside triphosphate pools. The minimal removal of abacavir, ddC, DAPD, 3TC, ddI, and tenofovir is consistent with the minor changes in susceptibility to these drugs observed for HIV mutants with thymidine analog resistance mutations.
Human immunodeficiency virus type 2 (HIV-2) is naturally resistant to several antiretroviral drugs, including all of the non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors and the entry inhibitor T-20, and may have reduced susceptibility to some protease inhibitors. These resistance properties make treatment of HIV-2 patients difficult, with very limited treatment options. Therefore, early detection of resistance mutations is important for understanding treatment failures and guiding subsequent therapy decisions. With the Global Fund Initiative, a substantial number of HIV-2 patients in West Africa will receive antiretroviral therapy. Therefore, development of cheaper and more sustainable resistance assays, such as the oligonucleotide ligation assay (OLA), is a priority. In this study, we designed oligonucleotide probes to detect the Q151M mutation, associated with phenotypic resistance to zidovudine, didanosine, zalcitabine, and stavudine, and the M184V mutation, associated with phenotypic resistance to lamivudine and emtricitabine, in HIV-2. The assay was successfully developed and evaluated with 122 samples from The Gambia, Guinea Bissau, The Netherlands, and Sweden. The overall sensitivity of the assay was 98.8%, with 99.2% for Q151M and 98.4% for M184V. OLA results were compared with sequencing to give high concordances of 98.4% (Q151M) and 97.5% (M184V). OLA demonstrated a higher sensitivity for detection of minor variants as a mixture of wild-type and mutant viruses in cases when sequencing detected only the major population. In conclusion, we have developed a simple, easy-to-use, and economical assay for genotyping of drug resistance in HIV-2 that is more sustainable for use in resource-poor settings than is consensus sequencing.
The observation that human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) mutations conferring resistance to one reverse transcriptase (RT) inhibitor may suppress resistance to other RT inhibitors provides a rationale for treating HIV-1 with certain RT inhibitor combinations. We examined phenotypic and genotypic changes during culture of a multinucleoside (zidovudine, didanosine, zalcitibine, and stavudine)-resistant HIV-1 strain with and without additional RT inhibitors (nevirapine and lamivudine). The development of nevirapine or lamivudine resistance by the multinucleoside-resistant strain was not accompanied by a reduction in zidovudine or didanosine resistance.
Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) resistance development was evaluated in vitro by using combinations of the drugs tenofovir and emtricitabine or abacavir and lamivudine, as well as by using the compounds individually. Emtricitabine- and lamivudine-resistant HIV-1 isolates with the M184I or M184V mutation in reverse transcriptase were readily selected in the cultures with emtricitabine alone, lamivudine alone, and the two drug combinations and conferred high-level resistance to emtricitabine and lamivudine. Tenofovir-resistant HIV-1 isolates with the K65R mutation occurred in both the culture with tenofovir alone and the culture with the combination of emtricitabine and tenofovir. The S68N and S68K mutations were also observed in the tenofovir cultures, with no detectable impact on resistance, suggesting a possible compensatory role in viral fitness. At low concentrations of emtricitabine and tenofovir, the M184I mutation appeared first, followed by the K65R mutation, in a subset of viruses. At intermediate concentrations of emtricitabine and tenofovir, viruses harboring the K65R mutation or a novel K65N and K70R double mutation grew before they gave rise to mutants with K65R and M184V/I double mutations at higher emtricitabine concentrations. Abacavir resistance was characterized by the accumulation of the M184V, Y115F, and K65R mutations in the abacavir culture, while the M184V and L74V mutations were selected in combination with lamivudine. In the presence of the abacavir resistance mutations, viral growth was strong even in the presence of high concentrations of abacavir. In contrast, viral growth was markedly impaired in the cultures with high tenofovir concentrations, even in the presence of K65R. In conclusion, these studies show that HIV-1 mutants with a K65R and M184V genotype are generated under maximum selection pressure from the combination of tenofovir and emtricitabine.
The emergence of drug resistance-conferring mutations can severely compromise the success of chemotherapy directed against human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). The M184V and/or L74V mutation in the reverse transcriptase (RT) gene are frequently found in viral isolates from patients treated with the nucleoside RT inhibitors lamivudine (3TC), abacavir (ABC), and didanosine (ddI). However, the effectiveness of combination therapy with regimens containing these compounds is often not abolished in the presence of these mutations; it has been conjectured that diminished fitness of HIV-1 variants containing L74V and M184V may contribute to sustained antiviral effects in such cases. We have determined that viruses containing both L74V and M184V are more impaired in replication capacity than viruses containing either mutation alone. To understand the biochemical mechanisms responsible for this diminished fitness, we generated a series of recombinant mutated enzymes containing either or both of the L74V and M184V substitutions. These enzymes were tested for their abilities to bypass important rate-limiting steps during the complex process of reverse transcription. We studied both the initiation of minus-strand DNA synthesis with the cognate replication primer human tRNA3Lys and the initiation of plus-strand DNA synthesis, using a short RNA primer derived from the viral polypurine tract. We observed that the efficiencies of both reactions were diminished with enzymes containing either L74V or M184V and that these effects were significantly amplified with the double mutant. We also show that release from intrinsic pausing sites during reverse transcription appears to be a major obstacle that cannot be efficiently bypassed. Our data suggest that the efficiency of RNA-primed DNA synthesis represents an important consideration that can affect viral replication kinetics.
The HIV-1 nucleoside RT inhibitor (NRTI)-resistance mutation, K65R confers intermediate to high-level resistance to the NRTIs abacavir, didanosine, emtricitabine, lamivudine, and tenofovir; and low-level resistance to stavudine. Several lines of evidence suggest that K65R is more common in HIV-1 subtype C than subtype B viruses.
Methods and Findings
We performed ultra-deep pyrosequencing (UDPS) and clonal dideoxynucleotide sequencing of plasma virus samples to assess the prevalence of minority K65R variants in subtype B and C viruses from untreated individuals. Although UDPS of plasma samples from 18 subtype C and 27 subtype B viruses showed that a higher proportion of subtype C viruses contain K65R (1.04% vs. 0.25%; p<0.001), limiting dilution clonal sequencing failed to corroborate its presence in two of the samples in which K65R was present in >1.5% of UDPS reads. We therefore performed UDPS on clones and site-directed mutants containing subtype B- and C-specific patterns of silent mutations in the conserved KKK motif encompassing RT codons 64 to 66 and found that subtype-specific nucleotide differences were responsible for increased PCR-induced K65R mutation in subtype C viruses.
This study shows that the RT KKK nucleotide template in subtype C viruses can lead to the spurious detection of K65R by highly sensitive PCR-dependent sequencing techniques. However, the study is also consistent with the subtype C nucleotide template being inherently responsible for increased polymerization-induced K65R mutations in vivo.
Abacavir is frequently used in antiretroviral combination therapies as a potent nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI). Four mutations are selected for by abacavir in vitro and in vivo: K65R, L74V, Y115F, and M184V. Abacavir resistance has also been observed in NRTI multidrug-resistant samples. Furthermore, abacavir resistance has been described in the context of zidovudine resistance. To evaluate the genetic basis of abacavir resistance, the viral genotype and phenotypic resistance were analyzed for 307 patient samples. Low- and high-level resistances were defined as 2.5- to 5.5-fold- and >5.5-fold-reduced susceptibility, respectively. If all samples with abacavir-selected and NRTI multidrug resistance-associated mutations were scored as resistant, 27.6% of the samples were misclassified, mainly due to samples falsely scored as susceptible. Therefore, the relative frequencies of other mutations were evaluated. Mutations at codons 44 and 118 were rarely detected in abacavir-susceptible samples but were overrepresented in resistant samples. Site-directed mutagenesis of E44D, V118I, and M184V resulted in low-level resistance for the double mutant 44/184 and the triple mutant. Low-level abacavir resistance was also detected for a viral clone carrying zidovudine mutations only. Additional insertion of M184V into the zidovudine background doubled the resistance, whereas 44/118 did not lead to a further increase. Incorporating combinations of zidovudine mutations and M184V into the scoring system markedly reduced the number of misclassified samples, whereas 44/118 did not improve the prediction. In conclusion, the combination of M184V with zidovudine mutations gives rise to high-level abacavir resistance, which may be clinically relevant. Thus, options for useful sequential combinations of NRTI are limited.
Purpose of the review
Changing antiretroviral regimens and the introduction of new antiretroviral drugs have altered drug resistance patterns in resistance human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). This review summarizes recent information on antiretroviral drug resistance.
As tenofovir and abacavir have replaced zidovudine and stavudine in antiretroviral regimens, thymidine analog resistance mutations have become less common in patients failing antiretroviral therapy in developed countries. Similarly, the near universal use of ritonavir-boosted protease inhibitors (PI) in place of unboosted PIs has made the selection of PI resistance mutations uncommon in patients failing a first- or second-line PI regimen. The challenge of treating patients with multidrug-resistant HIV-1 has largely been addressed by the advent of newer PIs, second-generation non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors and drugs in novel classes, including integrase inhibitors and CCR5 antagonists. Resistance to these newer agents can emerge, however, resulting in the appearance of novel drug resistance mutations in the HIV-1 polymerase, integrase and envelope genes.
New drugs make possible the effective treatment of multidrug-resistant HIV-1, but the activity of these drugs may be limited by the appearance of novel drug resistance mutations.
Recent findings suggest bidirectional antagonisms between the K65R mutation and thymidine analogue mutations in human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)-infected, treatment-experienced patients, yet little is known about HIV-2 in this regard. This study addressed the effects of innate polymorphisms in HIV-2 on emergent resistance to nucleoside/nucleotide analogues. Emergent drug resistance profiles in HIV-2 subtypes A (n = 3) and B (n = 1) were compared to those of HIV-1 subtypes B and C. Drug resistance was evaluated with cord blood mononuclear cells (CBMCs) and MT2 cells, using selective pressure with tenofovir (TFV), zidovudine (ZDV), stavudine (d4T), didanosine (ddI), abacavir (ABC), lamivudine (3TC), emtricitabine (FTC), or various dual-drug combinations. Resistance was evaluated using conventional and ultrasensitive sequencing approaches. In agreement with our previous findings, dual-drug combinations of TFV, ddI, ABC, d4T, ZDV, and 3TC preferentially selected for K65R in HIV-1 subtype C isolates. In HIV-1 subtype B, TFV-3TC and ZDV-3TC selected for M184I and D67N, respectively. In contrast, selections with all four HIV-2 cultures favored the development of M184I in dual-drug combinations that included either 3TC or FTC. Since HIV-2 cultures did not develop K65R, an ultrasensitive allele-specific real-time PCR assay was developed to distinguish the presence of 65R from wild-type K65 after 16 cycles with a discriminatory ability of 0.1% against a population of wild-type virus. These results underscore potential differences in emergent drug resistance pathways in HIV-1 and HIV-2 and show that polymorphisms may influence the development of the resistance pathways that are likely to emerge.
Mutations in the RNase H domain of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 RT have been reported to cause resistance to zidovudine (ZDV) in vitro. However, very limited data on the in vivo relevance of these mutations in patients exist to date. This study was designed to determine the relationship between mutations in the RNase H domain and viral susceptibility to nucleoside analogues. Viruses harboring complex thymidine analogue mutation (TAM) and nucleoside analogue mutation (NAM) profiles were evaluated for their phenotypic susceptibilities to ZDV, tenofovir (TNF), and the nonapproved nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) β-2′,3′-didehydro-2′,3′-dideoxy-5-fluorocytidine (Reverset), β-d-5-fluorodioxolane-cytosine, and apricitabine. As controls, viruses from NRTI-naïve patients were also studied. The pol RT region (codons 21 to 250) of the viruses were sequenced and evaluated for mutations in the RNase H domain (codons 441 to 560) and the connection domain (codons 289 to 400). The results showed that viruses from patients failing multiple NRTI-containing regimens had distinct TAM and NAM profiles that conferred various degrees of resistance to ZDV (0.9- to >300-fold). Sequencing of the RNase H domain identified five positions (positions 460,468, 483, 512, and 519) at which extensive amino acid polymorphisms common in both wild-type viruses and viruses from treated patients were identified. No mutations were observed at positions 539 and 549, which have previously been associated with ZDV resistance. Mutations in the RNase H domain did not appear to correlate with the levels of phenotypic resistance to ZDV. Although some mutations were also observed in the connection domain, the simultaneous presence of the L74V and M184V mutations was the most significant determinant of phenotypic resistance to ZDV in patients infected with viruses with TAMs.
Porcine xenografts may offer a solution to the shortage of human donor allografts. However, all pigs contain the porcine endogenous retrovirus (PERV), raising concerns regarding the transmission of PERV and the possible development of disease in xenotransplant recipients. We evaluated 11 antiretroviral drugs licensed for human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) therapy for their activities against PERV to assess their potential for clinical use. Fifty and 90% inhibitory concentrations (IC50s and IC90s, respectively) of five nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (RTIs) were determined enzymatically for PERV and for wild-type (WT) and RTI-resistant HIV-1 reference isolates. In a comparison of IC50s, the susceptibilities of PERV RT to lamivudine, stavudine, didanosine, zalcitabine, and zidovudine were reduced >20-fold, 26-fold, 6-fold, 4-fold, and 3-fold, respectively, compared to those of WT HIV-1. PERV was also resistant to nevirapine. Tissue culture-based, single-round infection assays using replication-competent virus confirmed the relative sensitivity of PERV to zidovudine and its resistance to all other RTIs. A Gag polyprotein-processing inhibition assay was developed and used to assess the activities of protease inhibitors against PERV. No inhibition of PERV protease was seen with saquinavir, ritonavir, indinavir, nelfinavir, or amprenavir at concentrations >200-fold the IC50s for WT HIV-1. Thus, following screening of many antiretroviral agents, our findings support only the potential clinical use of zidovudine.
The development of antiviral drug resistance is an important problem in the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection. Potent antiretroviral therapy is currently used for treatment, and typically consists of at least two reverse transcriptase (RT) inhibitors. We have previously reported that both drugs and drug-resistant RT mutants can increase virus mutation frequencies. To further assess the contributions of nucleoside RT inhibitors (NRTIs), nonnucleoside RT inhibitors (NNRTIs), and drug-resistant RTs to HIV mutagenesis, a new high-throughput assay system was developed. This assay system was designed to specifically detect frameshift mutations in the luciferase gene in a single virus replication cycle. New drug-resistant RTs were identified that significantly altered virus mutation frequencies. Consistent with our previous observations of NRTIs, abacavir, stavudine, and zalcitabine increased HIV-1 mutation frequencies, supporting the general hypothesis that the NRTIs currently used in antiviral drug therapy increase virus mutation frequencies. Interestingly, similar observations were made with NNRTIs. This is the first report to show that NNRTIs can influence virus mutation frequencies. NNRTI combinations, NRTI-NNRTI combinations, and combinations of drug and drug-resistant RTs led to significant changes in the virus mutation frequencies compared to virus replication of drug-resistant virus in the absence of drug or wild-type virus in the presence of drug. This indicates that combinations of RT drugs or drugs and drug-resistant virus created during the evolution of drug resistance can act together to increase HIV-1 mutation frequencies, which would have important implications for drug therapy regimens. Finally, the influence of drug-resistant RT mutants from CRF01_AE viruses on HIV-1 mutation frequencies was analyzed and it was found that only a highly drug resistant RT led to altered virus mutation frequencies. The results further suggest that high-level drug-resistant RT can significantly influence virus mutation frequencies. A structural model that explains the mutation frequency data is discussed.
Two amino acids inserted between residues 69 and 70 of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) reverse transcriptase (RT) are rare mutations that may develop in viruses containing multiple thymidine analog (zidovudine [AZT], stavudine)-associated mutations and that confer high-level resistance to all currently approved chain-terminating nucleoside and nucleotide RT inhibitors (NRTIs). The two known mechanisms of resistance to NRTIs are decreased incorporation and increased excision. The mechanism used by RT insertion mutants has not been described for tenofovir (TFV), a recently approved agent in this class. A patient-derived HIV-1 strain (strain FS-SSS) that contained an insertion mutation in a background of additional resistance mutations M41L, L74V, L210W, and T215Y was obtained. A second virus (strain FS) was derived from FS-SSS. In strain FS the insertion and T69S were reverted but the other resistance mutations were retained. The FS virus showed strong resistance to AZT but low-level changes in susceptibilities to other NRTIs and TFV. The FS-SSS virus showed reduced susceptibilities to all NRTIs including TFV. Steady-state kinetics demonstrated that the relative binding or incorporation of TFV was slightly decreased for FS-SSS RT compared to those for wild-type RT. However, significant ATP-mediated excision of TFV was detected for both mutant RT enzymes and followed the order FS-SSS RT > FS RT > wild-type RT. The presence of physiological concentrations of the +1 nucleotide inhibited TFV excision by the wild-type RT and slightly inhibited excision by the FS RT, whereas the level of excision by the FS-SSS RT remained high. Computer modeling suggests that the increased mobility of the β3-β4 loop may contribute to the high-level and broad NRTI resistance caused by the T69 insertion mutation.
In vitro selection studies and data from large genotype databases from clinical studies have demonstrated that tenofovir disoproxil fumarate and abacavir sulfate select for the K65R mutation in the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 polymerase region. Furthermore, other novel non-thymine nucleoside reverse transcriptase (RT) inhibitors also select for this mutation in vitro. Studies performed in vitro and in humans suggest that viruses containing the K65R mutation remained susceptible to zidovudine (ZDV) and other thymine nucleoside antiretroviral agents. Therefore, ZDV could be coformulated with these agents as a “resistance repellent” agent for the K65R mutation. The approved ZDV oral dose is 300 mg twice a day (b.i.d.) and is commonly associated with bone marrow toxicity thought to be secondary to ZDV-5′-monophosphate (ZDV-MP) accumulation. A simulation study was performed in silico to optimize the ZDV dose for b.i.d. administration with K65R-selecting antiretroviral agents in virtual subjects using the population pharmacokinetic and cellular enzyme kinetic parameters of ZDV. These simulations predicted that a reduction in the ZDV dose from 300 to 200 mg b.i.d. should produce similar amounts of ZDV-5′-triphosphate (ZDV-TP) associated with antiviral efficacy (>97% overlap) and reduced plasma ZDV and cellular amounts of ZDV-MP associated with toxicity. The simulations also predicted reduced peak and trough amounts of cellular ZDV-TP after treatment with 600 mg ZDV once a day (q.d.) rather than 300 or 200 mg ZDV b.i.d., indicating that q.d. dosing with ZDV should be avoided. These in silico predictions suggest that 200 mg ZDV b.i.d. is an efficacious and safe dose that could delay the emergence of the K65R mutation.
Mutations selected or deselected during passage of human immunodeficiency virus strain HXB2 or resistant variants with tenofovir (TFV), abacavir (ABC), and lamivudine (3TC) differed depending on the drug combination and virus genotype. In the wild-type virus, TFV-ABC and TFV-3TC selected K65R (with reduced susceptibility to all three inhibitors) and then Y115F. TFV-containing regimens might increase K65R selection, which confers multiple nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor resistance.
Mutation in the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 reverse transcriptase (RT) at codon 215 has been shown to play a significant role in resistance to zidovudine (AZT). Substitution of threonine with tyrosine or phenylalanine alone confers decreased susceptibility to the inhibitor. In this study we constructed a panel of 10 viruses with different amino acids at this codon, including 7 novel mutants, and assessed their susceptibilities to AZT. The majority of the new mutants were AZT sensitive, whereas the Thr-215-->Trp mutant was partially resistant (threefold less susceptible). A combination of the Thr-215-->Trp with the other AZT resistance mutations Lys-70-->Arg and Met-41-->Leu gave additive resistance. The Thr-215-->Phe virus was less AZT resistant than the Thr-215-->Tyr mutant, both on its own and when each was combined with the Met-41-->Leu mutant. These observations confirm the general hypothesis that increased bulk of the amino acid side chains at this position confers decreased AZT sensitivity. A leucine-to-valine substitution at codon 74 has previously been found to confer dideoxynucleoside resistance. We constructed mutants with five novel amino acid substitutions (Ala, Gly, Glu, Met, and Asp) at codon 74. Of these, only one (that with the Met substitution) retained enough RT activity to yield viable virus. It thus appears that there are severe structure-function constraints on the amino acid side chains at this position in the enzyme. The activities of the Leu-74-->Ala and Leu-74-->Met RT enzymes expressed in Escherichia coli appeared to have reduced susceptibility to ddGTP compared with the wild-type enzyme. The mutants described in this work may prove useful for correlation with structural studies of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 RT.
The development and widespread clinical use of coformulated abacavir/lamivudine/zidovudine (ABC/3TC/ZDV) as Trizivir represented an important advance in the management of HIV-infected patients, especially those with adherence challenges. With a low pill burden, no food restrictions, limited drug-drug interactions, and a favorable resistance profile, ABC/3TC/ZDV remains an alternative option in the US Department of Health and Human Services Consensus Panel Guidelines as initial treatment in antiretroviral-naive patients. Recent data have shown ABC/3TC/ZDV to be less efficacious in suppressing and/or maintaining suppression of virologic replication compared with efavirenz-containing antiretroviral therapy. Although triple-nucleoside/nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitor (t-NRTI) combinations that do not contain a thymidine analog (ZDV or stavudine) have recently shown high virologic failure rates in clinical trials and clinical practice, t-NRTI regimens containing a thymidine analog have consistently been shown to be efficacious.
Resistance to antiviral therapy is the limiting factor in the successful management of HIV. In general, the K65R mutation is rarely selected (1.7–4%) with tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF), abacavir (ABC), didanosine (ddI), and stavudine (d4T), as compared with the high incidence (>40%) of thymidine analog mutations associated with zidovudine and d4T. The high barrier to the development of K65R may reflect a combination of factors, including the high potency of K65R-selecting drugs, including recommended TDF/emtricitabine and ABC/lamivudine (ABC/3TC) combinations; the partial (low–intermediate level) profile of cross-resistance conferred by K65R to TDF, ABC and 3TC; the favorable viral fitness constraint imposed by K65R and the 3TC/emtricitabine-associated M184V mutations; the bidirectional antagonism between the K65R and thymidine analog mutation pathways; and unique RNA structural considerations in the region surrounding codon 65. Nevertheless, surprisingly high levels of treatment failures and K65R resistance may be associated with triple nucleoside analog regimens. The use of TDF + ABC, TDF + ddI and ABC + d4T in combination with 3TC or emtricitabine should be avoided. This selection of K65R may be reduced by the inclusion of zidovudine in two–four nucleoside reverse-transcriptase regimens. Clinical studies have demonstrated an increased frequency of K65R in association with suboptimal d4T and ddI regimens, as well as nevirapine and its resistance mutations Y181C and G190A. The potential for the development of the K65R mutation in subtype C is particularly problematic wherein a signature KKK nucleotide motif, at codons 64, 65 and 66 in reverse transcriptase, appear to lead to template pausing, facilitating the selection of K65R. Optimizing regimens may attenuate the emergence of K65R, leading to better long-term treatment management in different geographic settings. TDF-based regimens are the leading candidates for first- and second-line therapy, microbicides and chemoprophylaxis strategies.
HIV-1 drug resistance; K65R; nucleoside analogs; subtype C; tenofovir
Resistance to the nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors etravirine and rilpivirine (RPV) is conferred by the E138K mutation in human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) reverse transcriptase (RT). Clinical trials of RPV administered with lamivudine or emtricitabine showed the emergence of E138K together with M184I, which confers lamivudine and emtricitabine resistance in most patients with virologic failure. To understand why M184I was favored over M184V, we determined the drug susceptibility, infectivity, relative fitness, and reverse transcriptase activity of HIV-1 carrying E138K/M184I or E138K/M184V mutations. Whereas the replication capacity (RC) of the single mutants was reduced compared to that of the wild type (WT), the RC of the two double mutants was comparable to that of the WT in the absence of drug. The RC of the E138K/M184I mutant in the presence of etravirine was significantly greater than that of the E138K and E138K/M184V mutants; the RC of the double mutants was greater than that of the M184I or M184V mutant. Fitness profiles and growth competition experiments showed that the E138K/M184I mutant had a significant replicative advantage over the E138K/M184V mutant in the presence of etravirine and lamivudine. The virion-associated RT activity of the E138K, M184I, or M184V virus was significantly reduced compared to that of the WT, whereas the RT activity of the E138K/M184I virus was significantly greater than that of the WT or E138K/M184V virus. These results suggest that the E138K and M184I/V mutations are mutually compensatory and may explain the frequent occurrence of E138K/M184I after the virologic failure of rilpivirine-, lamivudine-, and emtricitabine-containing regimens.
The major hurdle in the treatment of Human Immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) includes the development of drug resistance-associated mutations in the target regions of the virus. Since reverse transcriptase (RT) is essential for HIV-1 replication, several nucleoside analogues have been developed to target RT of the virus. Clinical studies have shown that mutations at RT codon 65 and 74 which are located in β3-β4 linkage group of finger sub-domain of RT are selected during treatment with several RT inhibitors, including didanosine, deoxycytidine, abacavir and tenofovir. Interestingly, the co-selection of K65R and L74V is rare in clinical settings. We have previously shown that K65R and L74V are incompatible and a R→K reversion occurs at codon 65 during replication of the virus. Analysis of the HIV resistance database has revealed that similar to K65R+L74V, the double mutant K65R+L74I is also rare. We sought to compare the impact of L→V versus L→I change at codon 74 in the background of K65R mutation, on the replication of doubly mutant viruses.
Proviral clones containing K65R, L74V, L74I, K65R+L74V and K65R+L74I RT mutations were created in pNL4-3 backbone and viruses were produced in 293T cells. Replication efficiencies of all the viruses were compared in peripheral blood mononuclear (PBM) cells in the absence of selection pressure. Replication capacity (RC) of mutant viruses in relation to wild type was calculated on the basis of antigen p24 production and RT activity, and paired analysis by student t-test was performed among RCs of doubly mutant viruses. Reversion at RT codons 65 and 74 was monitored during replication in PBM cells. In vitro processivity of mutant RTs was measured to analyze the impact of amino acid changes at RT codon 74.
Replication kinetics plot showed that all of the mutant viruses were attenuated as compared to wild type (WT) virus. Although attenuated in comparison to WT virus and single point mutants K65R, L74V and L74I; the double mutant K65R+L74I replicated efficiently in comparison to K65R+L74V mutant. The increased replication capacity of K65R+L74I viruses in comparison to K65R+L74V viruses was significant at multiplicity of infection 0.01 (p = 0.0004). Direct sequencing and sequencing after population cloning showed a more pronounced reversion at codon 65 in viruses containing K65R+L74V mutations in comparison to viruses with K65R+L74I mutations. In vitro processivity assays showed increased processivity of RT containing K65R+L74I in comparison to K65R+L74V RT.
The improved replication kinetics of K65R+L74I virus in comparison to K65R+L74V viruses was due to an increase in the processivity of RT containing K65R+L74I mutations. These observations support the rationale behind structural functional analysis to understand the interactions among unique RT mutations that may emerge during the treatment with specific drug regimens.