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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1986 Nov;83(22):8769-73.

A human cytomegalovirus mutant resistant to the nucleoside analog 9-([2-hydroxy-1-(hydroxymethyl)ethoxy]methyl)guanine (BW B759U) induces reduced levels of BW B759U triphosphate.


We have isolated a human cytomegalovirus mutant that is resistant to the antiviral drug 9-([2-hydroxy-1-(hydroxymethyl)ethoxy]methyl)guanine (BW B759U), yet exhibits wild-type sensitivity to inhibitors of herpesvirus DNA polymerases such as phosphonoformic acid and aphidicolin. Cells infected with the mutant accumulate approximately equal to 1/10th the amount of drug triphosphate as do those infected with the wild-type parent. This reduction in drug triphosphate could not be attributed to altered drug uptake or to reduced stability of the triphosphate, once formed. The induction of normal nucleoside and deoxynucleoside triphosphates and certain cellular nucleoside kinases was comparable in mutant and wild-type virus infections. These results provide strong evidence for the importance of phosphorylation in the selectivity of this antiviral compound and raise the possibility that human cytomegalovirus encodes a nucleoside kinase. The mutant may identify the existence of a cytomegalovirus function whose properties could facilitate genetic analysis of this important pathogen.

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