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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Infectious potential of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 reverse transcriptase mutants with altered inhibitor sensitivity.

There is considerable interest in the potential of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) to develop drug resistance, especially as 3'-azido-3'-deoxythymidine (Retrovir) is now in widespread clinical use to treat people with AIDS and AIDS-related complex (ARC). To address this possibility, mutations in the HIV reverse transcriptase [deoxynucleoside-triphosphate:DNA deoxynucleotidyltransferase (RNA-directed), EC] gene have been introduced by site-directed mutagenesis of cloned constructs in Escherichia coli. Analysis of the recombinant mutant reverse transcriptase from a number of these constructs revealed enzymes that maintained enzyme activity but had a reduced ability to recognize inhibitors such as azidothymidine triphosphate. To assess the infectivity of these mutants, several constructs of proviral HIV clones with mutant reverse transcriptase genes have been made and used to transfect T cells. All five mutants tested have lower infectious potential, suggesting considerable levels of reverse transcriptase activity are required for efficient virus replication. Viable virus recovered from two clones showed decreased sensitivity to the antiviral compound phosphonoformate, thus demonstrating the potential for drug-resistant HIV to replicate. However, although the reverse transcriptase from these mutant viruses showed decreased sensitivity to azidothymidine triphosphate, paradoxically these viruses were hypersensitive to azidothymidine when tested in culture.[1]


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