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AIDS. 1999 Jul 30;13(11):1343-9.

Increased polymerase fidelity of lamivudine-resistant HIV-1 variants does not limit their evolutionary potential.

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Department of Virology, Eijkman-Winkler Institute, University Hospital of Utrecht, The Netherlands.



Anti HIV-1 therapy with nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors can select for drug-resistant reverse transcriptase variants with altered enzyme properties. Some of the mutations, e.g. Met184Val and Met184Ile, result in an increase in polymerase fidelity of the enzyme as measured in biochemical assays; however, the effect of such changes on the fidelity during viral replication is largely unknown. In this study, the codon 184 variants were used to investigate whether the mutation at codon 184 affects the mutation spectrum and mutation rate of the mutant viruses.


In vitro selection experiments with either wild-type or lamivudine-resistant viruses (Met184Val and Met184Ile) were performed using a protease inhibitor as the selective drug. In addition, a novel selection approach was developed using a mixture of viruses, instead of individual viruses, during the selection process.


Comparison of a total of 108 protease-resistant variants revealed no significant difference in the mutational spectrum of the wild-type and the lamivudine-resistant variants. In addition, the selection experiments with the viral mixtures demonstrated no delay in the kinetics of mutation generation in response to an antiviral drug.


This study demonstrates that the Met184Val and Met184Ile mutations in the HIV-1 reverse transcriptase enzyme do not significantly affect the evolutionary potential of the corresponding viruses.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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