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J Biol Chem. 1995 Oct 6;270(40):23605-11.

Enzymatic characterization of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 reverse transcriptase resistant to multiple 2',3'-dideoxynucleoside 5'-triphosphates.

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Experimental Retrovirology Section, NCI, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


A set of five mutations (A62V, V75I, F77L, F116Y, and Q151M) in the polymerase domain of reverse transcriptase (RT) of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), which confers on the virus a reduced sensitivity to multiple therapeutic dideoxynucleosides (ddNs), has been identified. In this study, we defined the biochemical properties of RT with such mutations by using site-directed mutagenesis, overproduction of recombinant RTs, and steady-state kinetic analyses. A single mutation, Q151M, which developed first among the five mutations in patients receiving therapy, most profoundly reduced the sensitivity of RT to multiple ddN 5'-triphosphate (ddNTPs). Addition of other mutations to Q151M further reduced the sensitivity of RT to ddNTPs. RT with the five mutations proved to be resistant by 65-fold to 3'-azido-2',3'-dideoxythymidine 5'-triphosphate (AZTTP), 12-fold to ddCTP, 8.8-fold to ddATP, and 3.3-fold to 2',3'-dideoxyguanosine 5'-triphosphate (ddGTP), compared with wild-type RT (RTwt). Steady-state kinetic studies revealed comparable catalytic efficiency (kcat/Km) of RTs carrying combined mutations as compared with that of RTwt (< 3-fold), although a marked difference was noted in inhibition constants (Ki) (e.g. Ki of a mutant RT carrying the five mutations was 62-fold higher for AZTTP than that of RTwt). Thus, we conclude that the alteration of RT's substrate recognition, caused by these mutations, accounts for the observed multi-ddN resistance of HIV-1. The features of multi-ddNTP-resistant RTs should provide insights into the molecular mechanism of RT discriminating ddNTPs from natural substrates.

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