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J Virol. 2000 May;74(9):4414-9.

A mutation in human immunodeficiency virus type 1 protease, N88S, that causes in vitro hypersensitivity to amprenavir.

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ViroLogic Inc., South San Francisco, California 94080, USA.


Amprenavir (Agenerase, 141-W94, VX-478) is a human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) protease inhibitor (PRI) recently approved for the treatment of HIV-1 infection in the United States. A major cause of treatment failure is the development of resistance to PRIs. One potential use for amprenavir is as salvage therapy for patients for whom treatment that includes one (or more) of the other four currently approved PRIs-saquinavir, indinavir, ritonavir, and nelfinavir-has failed. We evaluated the cross-resistance to amprenavir of viruses that evolved during treatment with the two most commonly prescribed PRIs, nelfinavir and indinavir. Unexpectedly, a dramatic increase in susceptibility (2.5- to 12. 5-fold) was observed with 20 of 312 (6.4%) patient viruses analyzed. The most pronounced increases in susceptibility were strongly associated with an N88S mutation in protease. All viruses that carried the N88S mutation were hypersensitive to amprenavir. Site-directed mutagenesis studies confirmed the causal role of N88S in determining amprenavir hypersensitivity. The presence of the N88S mutation and associated amprenavir hypersensitivity may be useful in predicting an improved clinical response to amprenavir salvage therapy.

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