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J Biol Chem. 1994 Apr 29;269(17):12633-8.

Divergent anti-human immunodeficiency virus activity and anabolic phosphorylation of 2',3'-dideoxynucleoside analogs in resting and activated human cells.

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Experimental Retrovirology Section, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland 20892.


The mechanism of divergent anti-human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) activity of various 2',3'-dideoxynucleoside analogs (ddNs) in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBM) was studied. We demonstrate that the in vitro anti-HIV-1 activity of various ddNs varies profoundly and that the divergent antiviral activity is related to the extent of anabolic phosphorylation of each ddN and its counterpart 2'-deoxynucleoside (dN). We also show that certain ddNs cause a reduction of their counterpart dNTP formation in PBM in the following order: 2',3'-dideoxycytidine (ddC) >> 2',3'-didehydro-2',3'-dideoxythymidine (d4T), 3'-thia-2',3'-dideoxycytidine (3TC), 2',3'-dideoxyinosine (ddI), 2',3'-dideoxyguanosine (ddG) > 3'-azido-2',3'-dideoxythymidine (AZT) > 2'-beta-fluoro-2',3'-dideoxyadenosine (F-ara-ddA). Based on the phosphorylation profiles, anti-HIV-1 ddNs can be classified into two groups: (i) cell-activation-dependent ddNs such as AZT and d4T that are preferentially phosphorylated, yield higher ratios of ddNTP/dNTP, and exert more potent anti-HIV-1 activity in activated cells than in resting cells; and (ii) cell-activation-independent ddNs including ddI (and 2',3'-dideoxyadenosine), F-ara-ddA, ddG, ddC, and 3TC that produce higher ratios of ddNTP/dNTP and exert more potent anti-HIV-1 activity in resting cells. These data should provide a basis for the elucidation of the mechanism of the divergent antiretroviral activity of ddNs.

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