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AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 1992 Feb;8(2):145-52.

Nonnucleoside inhibitors of HIV-1 reverse transcriptase: nevirapine as a prototype drug.

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Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc., Ridgefield, CT 06877.


Nevirapine, a dipyridodiazepinone, is a highly specific inhibitor of HIV-1 reverse transcriptase (RT) which exhibits an IC50 = 84nM in enzyme assays and IC50 = 40nM against HIV-1 replication in cell culture. This nonnucleoside inhibitor acts noncompetitively with respect to nucleoside triphosphates, template and primer suggesting that nevirapine does not bind to the active site of RT. Studies employing an azido analogue of nevirapine as a photoaffinity probe indicated that one molecule of inhibitor is sufficient to inactivate one molecule of heterodimeric enzyme and demonstrated that only the p66 subunit of p66/p51 heterodimeric RT is covalently labeled by this probe. When subjected to trypic mapping, Tyr 181 and Tyr 188 were labeled with probe and consequently these aromatic residues are apparently near or actually within the RT binding site for nevirapine. The extent to which Tyr 181 and Tyr 188 participate/contribute to nevirapine binding was determined by making amino acid substitutions at these positions using the corresponding residues from HIV-2 RT which is not sensitive to nevirapine. A change at either position dramatically decreased the enzymes' sensitivity to nevirapine, as well as to TIBO derivative and Merck L-693,593, indicating that both Tyr 181 and 188 are crucial for inhibitor-enzyme interaction. Cell culture selection in the continued presence of nevirapine results in the appearance of resistant HIV-1, Tyr 181 to Cys, raising the concern that combination drug therapy will be required in the clinic.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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