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Isolation and molecular characterization of a nelfinavir (NFV)-resistant human immunodeficiency virus type 1 that exhibits NFV-dependent enhancement of replication.


ABSTRACT: During the use of a phenotypic anti-human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) drug resistance assay in a large set of clinical virus isolates, we found a unique variant (CL-4) that exhibited a high level of nelfinavir (NFV) resistance and rather enhanced replication under subinhibitory concentrations of NFV (0.001 to 0.1 micro M). Comparison of gag-pol sequences of the CL-4 variant and its predecessor virus isolates showed a stepwise accumulation of a total of 19 amino acid substitutions in protease (PR) and Gag p17 during 32-month NFV-containing antiretroviral therapy, while other Gag regions including the cleavage sites of the p55 precursor remained highly conserved. To understand the relationship between the genetic and phenotypic changes in CL-4, we constructed chimeric viruses using pNL4-3, replacing the PR, p24PR, or p17PR gene segment of CL-4 or its predecessor. A series of tissue culture infections with the chimeras in the absence or presence of increasing concentrations of NFV demonstrated that only the p17PR segment of CL-4 could confer the NFV-dependent replication enhancement phenotype on NL4-3. Our data suggest a novel adaptation mechanism of HIV-1 to NFV, in which coevolution of Gag and PR genes generates a variant that replicates more efficiently in the cellular environment in the presence of NFV than without the drug.

SUBMITTER: Matsuoka-Aizawa S 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC140576 | BioStudies | 2003-01-01

SECONDARY ACCESSION(S): AB083565

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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