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Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2005 Jan;26(1):4-7.

HIV reverse transcriptase structures: designing new inhibitors and understanding mechanisms of drug resistance.

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Division of Structural Biology, The Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, University of Oxford, Oxford OX3 7BN, UK.


HIV reverse transcriptase (RT) is one of the main targets for the action of anti-AIDS drugs. The selection of drug-resistant HIV is a key problem in the continued treatment of the infection and thus new drugs are required. A significant body of information consisting of HIV-1 RT crystal structures with bound inhibitors has become available during the past several years, and, increasingly, such data will be of use in developing novel inhibitors. Two examples of crystal structures of HIV-1 RT with bound inhibitors have been published recently, one with the non-nucleoside CP94707 and the second with the nucleotide analogue drug tenofovir. Such structures will help the design of new drugs and improve our understanding of the mechanisms of resistance.

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