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Antivir Chem Chemother. 2014 Dec 16;23(6):217-22. doi: 10.3851/IMP2628.

Recent findings on the mechanisms involved in tenofovir resistance.

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Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA.


Since its approval for clinical use in 2001, tenofovir (TFV) has become one of the most frequently prescribed nucleotide analogues used in combination with other antiretroviral agents against HIV-1 infection. Although reverse transcriptase inhibitors (RTIs) including TFV have been shown to be highly potent with reasonable safety profiles in the clinic, drug resistance hinders the effectiveness of current therapies and even causes treatment failure. Therefore, understanding the resistance mechanisms of RT and exploring the potential antiviral synergy between the different RTIs in combination therapies against the resistance mechanisms would greatly improve the long-term efficacy of existing and future regimens. We have studied the pyrophosphorolytic removal of TFV, a major resistance mechanism that RT utilizes, from two different viral sequences and observed interesting outcomes associated with the sequence context. Furthermore, addition of efavirenz, a non-nucleoside RTI, inhibits this removal process confirming the synergistic antiviral effects. This article highlights our recently published work on the viral sequence context contributing to the study of anti-HIV drug resistance in conjunction with the benefits of combining various RTIs that may have been neglected previously.

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