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HIV-1 protease codon 36 polymorphisms and differential development of resistance to nelfinavir, lopinavir, and atazanavir in different HIV-1 subtypes.

Author(s): Lisovsky I, Schader SM, Martinez-Cajas JL, Oliveira M, Moisi D, Wainberg MA

Affiliation(s): McGill University AIDS Centre, Lady Davis Institute, Jewish General Hospital, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Publication date & source: 2010-07, Antimicrob Agents Chemother., 54(7):2878-85. Epub 2010 Apr 19.

Publication type: Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

The amino acid at position 36 of the HIV-1 protease differs among various viral subtypes, in that methionine is usually found in subtype B viruses but isoleucine is common in other subtypes. This polymorphism is associated with higher rates of treatment failure involving protease inhibitors (PIs) in non-subtype B-infected patients. To investigate this, we generated genetically homogeneous wild-type viruses from subtype B, subtype C, and CRF02_AG full-length molecular clones and showed that subtype C and CRF02_AG I36 viruses exhibited higher levels of resistance to various PIs than their respective M36 counterparts, while the opposite was observed for subtype B viruses. Selections for resistance with each variant were performed with nelfinavir (NFV), lopinavir (LPV), and atazanavir (ATV). Sequence analysis of the protease gene at week 35 revealed that the major NFV resistance mutation D30N emerged in NFV-selected subtype B viruses and in I36 subtype C viruses, despite polymorphic variation. A unique mutational pattern developed in subtype C M36 viruses selected with NFV or ATV. The presence of I47A in LPV-selected I36 CRF02_AG virus conferred higher-level resistance than L76V in LPV-selected M36 CRF02_AG virus. Phenotypic analysis revealed a >1,000-fold increase in NFV resistance in I36 subtype C NFV-selected virus with no apparent impact on viral replication capacity. Thus, the position 36 polymorphism in the HIV-1 protease appears to have a differential effect on both drug susceptibility and the viral replication capacity, depending on both the viral subtype and the drug being evaluated.

Page last updated: 2010-10-05

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