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J Virol. 2009 Nov;83(22):11440-6. doi: 10.1128/JVI.01168-09. Epub 2009 Sep 16.

Loss of raltegravir susceptibility by human immunodeficiency virus type 1 is conferred via multiple nonoverlapping genetic pathways.

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Monogram Biosciences, South San Francisco, CA 94080, USA.


The human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) integrase mutations N155H and Q148R(H)(K) that reduce susceptibility to the integrase inhibitor raltegravir have been identified in patients failing treatment regimens containing raltegravir. Whether these resistance mutations occur individually or in combination within a single virus genome has not been defined, nor do we fully understand the impact of these primary mutations and other secondary mutations on raltegravir susceptibility and viral replication capacity. To address these important questions, we investigated the raltegravir susceptibility and replication capacity of viruses containing mutations at positions 155 and 148 separately or in combination with secondary mutations selected in subjects failing treatment regimens containing raltegravir. Clonal analysis demonstrated that N155H and Q148R(H)(K) occur independently, not in combination. Viruses containing a Q148R(H)(K) mutation generally displayed larger reductions in raltegravir susceptibility than viruses with an N155H mutation. Analysis of site-directed mutants indicated that E92Q in combination with N155H resulted in a higher level of resistance to raltegravir than N155H alone. Viruses containing a Q148R(H) mutation together with a G140S mutation were more resistant to raltegravir than viruses containing a Q148R(H) mutation alone; however, viruses containing G140S and Q148K were more susceptible to raltegravir than viruses containing a Q148K mutation alone. Both N155H and Q148R(H)(K) mutations reduced the replication capacity, while the addition of secondary mutations either improved or reduced the replication capacity depending on the primary mutation. This study demonstrates distinct genetic pathways to resistance in subjects failing raltegravir regimens and defines the effects of primary and secondary resistance mutations on raltegravir susceptibility and replication capacity.

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