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J Virol. 1998 Jul;72(7):5927-36.

Characterization of drug resistance-associated mutations in the human cytomegalovirus DNA polymerase gene by using recombinant mutant viruses generated from overlapping DNA fragments.

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  • 1Gilead Sciences, Foster City, California 94404, USA. Tomas_Cihlar@gilead.com


A number of specific point mutations in the human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) DNA polymerase (UL54) gene have been tentatively associated with decreased susceptibility to antiviral agents and consequently with clinical failure. To precisely determine the roles of UL54 mutations in HCMV drug resistance, recombinant UL54 mutant viruses were generated by using cotransfection of nine overlapping HCMV DNA fragments into permissive fibroblasts, and their drug susceptibility profiles were determined. Amino acid substitutions located in UL54 conserved region IV (N408D, F412C, and F412V), region V (A987G), and delta-region C (L501I, K513E, P522S, and L545S) conferred various levels of resistance to cidofovir and ganciclovir. Mutations in region II (T700A and V715M) and region VI (V781I) were associated with resistance to foscarnet and adefovir. The region II mutations also conferred moderate resistance to lobucavir. In contrast to mutations in other UL54 conserved regions, those residing specifically in region III (L802M, K805Q, and T821I) were associated with various drug susceptibility profiles. Mutations located outside the known UL54 conserved regions (S676G and V759M) did not confer any significant changes in HCMV drug susceptibility. Predominantly an additive effect of multiple UL54 mutations with respect to the final drug resistance phenotype was demonstrated. Finally, the influence of selected UL54 mutations on the susceptibility of viral DNA replication to antiviral drugs was characterized by using a transient-transfection-plus-infection assay. Results of this work exemplify specific roles of the UL54 conserved regions in the development of HCMV drug resistance and may help guide optimization of HCMV therapy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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