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Biochemistry. 1997 Oct 7;36(40):12364-70.

Kinetic properties of saquinavir-resistant mutants of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 protease and their implications in drug resistance in vivo.

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Protein Studies Program, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City 73104, USA.


In order to study the basis of resistance of human immunodeficiency virus, type 1 (HIV-1), to HIV-1 protease inhibitor saquinavir, the catalytic and inhibition properties of the wild-type HIV-1 protease and three saquinavir resistant mutants, G48V, L90M, and G48V/L90M, were compared. The kinetic parameter kcat/Km was determined for these proteases using eight peptide substrates whose sequences were derived from the natural processing site sequences of HIV-1. The kcat/Km values were determined using conventional steady-state kinetics as well as initial velocities of mixed substrate cleavages under the condition where the substrate concentrations [S]o << Km. The independently determined kcat and Km values for some of the substrates confirmed the accuracy of the mixed-substrate method and also permitted the calculation in all cases of true rather than relative kcat/Km values. The Ki values were also determined. Using a previously described kinetic model [Tang, J., & Hartsuck, J. A. (1995) FEBS Lett. 367, 112-116], the relative processing activities of HIV-1 protease variants were estimated in the saquinavir concentration range of 0-10(-7) M. Although the protease activity of G48V, L90M, and G48V/L90M are only about 10, 7, and 3% of that of the wild-type HIV-1 protease in the absence of inhibitor, the resistance tendencies of the three mutants are clearly manifest by relatively less activity loss as inhibitor concentration becomes higher. Also, the ratios of the activities of the four protease species at certain saquinavir concentrations appear to correlate with the population ratios of the four protease species at different time points of clinical trials. This correlation suggests that the population ratio of the protease species is driven by in vivo saquinavir concentration, which appears to be in the range 10(-10)-10(-9) M during the clinical trials.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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