Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 protease-correlated cleavage site mutations enhance inhibitor resistance.
ABSTRACT: Drug resistance is an important cause of antiretroviral therapy failure in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients. Mutations in the protease render the virus resistant to protease inhibitors (PIs). Gag cleavage sites also mutate, sometimes correlating with resistance mutations in the protease, but their contribution to resistance has not been systematically analyzed. The present study examines mutations in Gag cleavage sites that associate with protease mutations and the impact of these associations on drug susceptibilities. Significant associations were observed between mutations in the nucleocapsid-p1 (NC-p1) and p1-p6 cleavage sites and various PI resistance-associated mutations in the protease. Several patterns were frequently observed, including mutations in the NC-p1 cleavage site in combination with I50L, V82A, and I84V within the protease and mutations within the p1-p6 cleavage site in combination with D30N, I50V, and I84V within the protease. For most patterns, viruses with mutations both in the protease and in either cleavage site were significantly less susceptible to specific PIs than viruses with mutations in the protease alone. Altered PI resistance in HIV-1 was found to be associated with the presence of Gag cleavage site mutations. These studies suggest that associated cleavage site mutations may contribute to PI susceptibility in highly specific ways depending on the particular combinations of mutations and inhibitors. Thus, cleavage site mutations should be considered when assessing the level of PI resistance.
Project description:Population-based sequence analysis revealed the presence of a variant of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) containing an insertion of amino acid Ile in the protease gene at codon 19 (19I) and amino acid substitutions in the protease at codons 21 (E21D) and 22 (A22V) along with multiple mutations associated with drug resistance, M46I/P63L/A71V/I84V/I93L, in a patient who had failed protease inhibitor (PI) therapy. Longitudinal analysis revealed that the P63L/A71V/I93L changes were present prior to PI therapy. Polymorphisms in the Gag sequence were only seen in the p1/p6 cleavage site at the P1' position (Leu to Pro) and the P5' position (Pro to Leu). To characterize the role of these mutations in drug susceptibility and replication capacity, a chimeric HIV-1 strain containing the 19I/E21D/A22V mutations with the M46I/P63L/A71V/I84V/I93L and p1/p6 mutations was constructed. The chimera displayed high-level resistance to multiple PIs, but not to lopinavir, and grew to 30% of that of the wild type. To determine the relative contribution of each mutation to the phenotypic characteristic of the virus, a series of mutants was constructed using site-directed mutagenesis. A high level of resistance was only seen in mutants containing the 19I/A22V and p1/p6 mutations. The E21D mutation enhanced viral replication. These results suggest that the combination of the 19I/E21D/A22V mutations may emerge and lead to high-level resistance to multiple PIs. The combination of the 19I/A22V mutations may be associated with PI resistance; however, the drug resistance may be caused by the presence of a unique set of mutations in the p1/p6 mutations. The E21D mutation contributes to replication fitness rather than drug resistance.
Project description:Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) protease inhibitors (PIs) specifically target the HIV-1 protease enzyme. Mutations in the enzyme can result in PI resistance (termed PI mutations); however, mutations in the HIV-1 gag region, the substrate for the protease enzyme, might also lead to PI resistance. We analyzed gag and pol sequence data from the following 313 HIV-1-infected patients: 160 treatment-naïve patients, 93 patients failing antiretroviral treatment that included a PI (with no major PI mutations), and 60 patients failing antiretroviral treatment that included a PI (with major PI mutations). Additional sequences from 13 patients were included for longitudinal analysis. We assessed positive selection pressure on the gag/protease region using a test for the overall influence of positive selection and a total of five tests to identify positively selected single codons. We found that positive selection pressure was the driving evolutionary force for the gag region in all three patient groups. An increase in positive selection was observed in gag cleavage site regions p7/p1/p6 only after the acquisition of major PI mutations, suggesting that amino acids in gag cleavage sites under positive selection pressure could function as compensatory mutations for major PI mutations in the protease region. Isolated gag mutations did not appear to confer PI resistance, but mutations in the gag cleavage sites could substitute for minor PI resistance mutations in the protease region.
Project description:Resistance to various human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) protease inhibitors (PIs) challenges the effectiveness of therapies in treating HIV-1-infected individuals and AIDS patients. The virus accumulates mutations within the protease (PR) that render the PIs less potent. Occasionally, Gag sequences also coevolve with mutations at PR cleavage sites contributing to drug resistance. In this study, we investigated the structural basis of coevolution of the p1-p6 cleavage site with the nelfinavir (NFV) resistance D30N/N88D protease mutations by determining crystal structures of wild-type and NFV-resistant HIV-1 protease in complex with p1-p6 substrate peptide variants with L449F and/or S451N. Alterations of residue 30's interaction with the substrate are compensated by the coevolving L449F and S451N cleavage site mutations. This interdependency in the PR-p1-p6 interactions enhances intermolecular contacts and reinforces the overall fit of the substrate within the substrate envelope, likely enabling coevolution to sustain substrate recognition and cleavage in the presence of PR resistance mutations.Resistance to human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) protease inhibitors challenges the effectiveness of therapies in treating HIV-1-infected individuals and AIDS patients. Mutations in HIV-1 protease selected under the pressure of protease inhibitors render the inhibitors less potent. Occasionally, Gag sequences also mutate and coevolve with protease, contributing to maintenance of viral fitness and to drug resistance. In this study, we investigated the structural basis of coevolution at the Gag p1-p6 cleavage site with the nelfinavir (NFV) resistance D30N/N88D protease mutations. Our structural analysis reveals the interdependency of protease-substrate interactions and how coevolution may restore substrate recognition and cleavage in the presence of protease drug resistance mutations.
Project description:ABT-378, a new human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) protease inhibitor which is significantly more active than ritonavir in cell culture, is currently under investigation for the treatment of AIDS. Development of viral resistance to ABT-378 in vitro was studied by serial passage of HIV-1 (pNL4-3) in MT-4 cells. Selection of viral variants with increasing concentrations of ABT-378 revealed a sequential appearance of mutations in the protease gene: I84V-L10F-M46I-T91S-V32I-I47V. Further selection at a 3.0 microM inhibitor concentration resulted in an additional change at residue 47 (V47A), as well as reversion at residue 32 back to the wild-type sequence. The 50% effective concentration of ABT-378 against passaged virus containing these additional changes was 338-fold higher than that against wild-type virus. In addition to changes in the protease gene, sequence analysis of passaged virus revealed mutations in the p1/p6 (P1' residue Leu to Phe) and p7/p1 (P2 residue Ala to Val) gag proteolytic processing sites. The p1/p6 mutation appeared in several clones derived from early passages and was present in all clones obtained from passage P11 (0.42 microM ABT-378) onward. The p7/p1 mutation appeared very late during the selection process and was strongly associated with the emergence of the additional change at residue 47 (V47A) and the reversion at residue 32 back to the wild-type sequence. Furthermore, this p7/p1 mutation was present in all clones obtained from passage P17 (3.0 microM ABT-378) onward and always occurred in conjunction with the p1/p6 mutation. Full-length molecular clones containing protease mutations observed very late during the selection process were constructed and found to be viable only in the presence of both the p7/p1 and p1/p6 cleavage-site mutations. This suggests that mutation of these gag proteolytic cleavage sites is required for the growth of highly resistant HIV-1 selected by ABT-378 and supports recent work demonstrating that mutations in the p7/p1/p6 region play an important role in conferring resistance to protease inhibitors (L. Doyon et al., J. Virol. 70:3763-3769, 1996; Y. M. Zhang et al., J. Virol. 71:6662-6670, 1997).
Project description:Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) resistance to protease inhibitors (PI) results from mutations in the viral protease (PR) that reduce PI binding but also decrease viral replicative capacity (RC). Additional mutations compensating for the RC loss subsequently accumulate within PR and in Gag substrate cleavage sites. We examined the respective contribution of mutations in PR and Gag to PI resistance and RC and their interdependence using a panel of HIV-1 molecular clones carrying different sequences from six patients who had failed multiple lines of treatment. Mutations in Gag strongly and directly contributed to PI resistance besides compensating for fitness loss. This effect was essentially carried by the C-terminal region of Gag (containing NC-SP2-p6) with little or no contribution from MA, CA, and SP1. The effect of Gag on resistance depended on the presence of cleavage site mutations A431V or I437V in NC-SP2-p6 and correlated with processing of the NC/SP2 cleavage site. By contrast, reverting the A431V or I437V mutation in these highly evolved sequences had little effect on RC. Mutations in the NC-SP2-p6 region of Gag can be dually selected as compensatory and as direct PI resistance mutations, with cleavage at the NC-SP2 site behaving as a rate-limiting step in PI resistance. Further compensatory mutations render viral RC independent of the A431V or I437V mutations while their effect on resistance persists.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Mutations in the substrate of HIV-1 protease, especially changes in the NC/p1 cleavage site, can directly contribute to protease inhibitor (PI) resistance and also compensate for defects in viral replicative capacity (RC) due to a drug resistant protease. These NC/p1 changes are known to enhance processing of the Gag protein. To investigate the capacity of HIV-1 to modulate Gag cleavage and its consequences for PI resistance and RC, we performed a detailed enzymatic and virological analysis using a set of PI resistant NC/p1 variants (HXB2431V, HXB2436E+437T, HXB2437T and HXB2437V). RESULTS: Here, we demonstrate that single NC/p1 mutants, which displayed only a slight increase in PI resistance did not show an obvious change in RC. In contrast, the double NC/p1 mutant, which displayed a clear increase in processing efficiency and PI resistance, demonstrated a clear reduction in RC. Cleavage analysis showed that a tridecameric NC/p1 peptide representing the double NC/p1 mutant was cleaved in two specific ways instead of one.The observed decrease in RC for the double NC/p1 mutant (HXB2436E+437T) could (partially) be restored by either reversion of the 436E change or by acquisition of additional changes in the NC/p1 cleavage site at codon 435 or 438 as was revealed during in vitro evolution experiments. These changes not only restored RC but also reduced PI resistance levels. Furthermore these changes normalized Gag processing efficiency and obstructed the novel secondary cleavage site observed for the double NC/p1 mutant. CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study clearly demonstrate that HIV-1 can modulate Gag processing and thereby PI resistance. Distinct increases in Gag cleavage and PI resistance result in a reduced RC that can only be restored by amino acid changes in NC/p1 which reduce Gag processing to an optimal rate.
Project description:HIV-1 protease (PR) and two drug-resistant variants--PR with the V82A mutation (PR(V82A)) and PR with the I84V mutation (PR(I84V))--were studied using reduced peptide analogs of five natural cleavage sites (CA-p2, p2-NC, p6pol-PR, p1-p6 and NC-p1) to understand the structural and kinetic changes. The common drug-resistant mutations V82A and I84V alter residues forming the substrate-binding site. Eight crystal structures were refined at resolutions of 1.10-1.60 A. Differences in the PR-analog interactions depended on the peptide sequence and were consistent with the relative inhibition. Analog p6(pol)-PR formed more hydrogen bonds of P2 Asn with PR and fewer van der Waals contacts at P1' Pro compared with those formed by CA-p2 or p2-NC in PR complexes. The P3 Gly in p1-p6 provided fewer van der Waals contacts and hydrogen bonds at P2-P3 and more water-mediated interactions. PR(I84V) showed reduced van der Waals interactions with inhibitor compared with PR, which was consistent with kinetic data. The structures suggest that the binding affinity for mutants is modulated by the conformational flexibility of the substrate analogs. The complexes of PR(V82A) showed smaller shifts of the main chain atoms of Ala82 relative to PR, but more movement of the peptide analog, compared to complexes with clinical inhibitors. PR(V82A) was able to compensate for the loss of interaction with inhibitor caused by mutation, in agreement with kinetic data, but substrate analogs have more flexibility than the drugs to accommodate the structural changes caused by mutation. Hence, these structures help to explain how HIV can develop drug resistance while retaining the ability of PR to hydrolyze natural substrates.
Project description:BACKGROUND: HIV protease inhibitor (PI) therapy results in the rapid selection of drug resistant viral variants harbouring one or two substitutions in the viral protease. To combat PI resistance development, two approaches have been developed. The first is to increase the level of PI in the plasma of the patient, and the second is to develop novel PI with high potency against the known PI-resistant HIV protease variants. Both approaches share the requirement for a considerable increase in the number of protease mutations to lead to clinical resistance, thereby increasing the genetic barrier. We investigated whether HIV could yet again find a way to become less susceptible to these novel inhibitors. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We have performed in vitro selection experiments using a novel PI with an increased genetic barrier (RO033-4649) and demonstrated selection of three viruses 4- to 8-fold resistant to all PI compared to wild type. These PI-resistant viruses did not have a single substitution in the viral protease. Full genomic sequencing revealed the presence of NC/p1 cleavage site substitutions in the viral Gag polyprotein (K436E and/or I437T/V) in all three resistant viruses. These changes, when introduced in a reference strain, conferred PI resistance. The mechanism leading to PI resistance is enhancement of the processing efficiency of the altered substrate by wild-type protease. Analysis of genotypic and phenotypic resistance profiles of 28,000 clinical isolates demonstrated the presence of these NC/p1 cleavage site mutations in some clinical samples (codon 431 substitutions in 13%, codon 436 substitutions in 8%, and codon 437 substitutions in 10%). Moreover, these cleavage site substitutions were highly significantly associated with reduced susceptibility to PI in clinical isolates lacking primary protease mutations. Furthermore, we used data from a clinical trial (NARVAL, ANRS 088) to demonstrate that these NC/p1 cleavage site changes are associated with virological failure during PI therapy. CONCLUSIONS: HIV can use an alternative mechanism to become resistant to PI by changing the substrate instead of the protease. Further studies are required to determine to what extent cleavage site mutations may explain virological failure during PI therapy.
Project description:Naturally occurring polymorphisms in the protease of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) subtype C would be expected to lead to adaptive (compensatory) changes in protease cleavage sites. To test this hypothesis, we examined the prevalences and patterns of cleavage site polymorphisms in the Gag, Gag-Pol, and Nef cleavage sites of C compared to those in non-C subtypes. Codon-based maximum-likelihood methods were used to assess the natural selection and evolutionary history of individual cleavage sites. Seven cleavage sites (p17/p24, p24/p2, NC/p1, NC/TFP, PR/RT, RT/p66, and p66/IN) were well conserved over time and in all HIV-1 subtypes. One site (p1/p6(gag)) exhibited moderate variation, and four sites (p2/NC, TFP/p6(pol), p6(pol)/PR, and Nef) were highly variable, both within and between subtypes. Three of the variable sites are known to be major determinants of polyprotein processing and virion production. P2/NC controls the rate and order of cleavage, p6(gag) is an important phosphoprotein required for virion release, and TFP/p6(pol), a novel cleavage site in the transframe domain, influences the specificity of Gag-Pol processing and the activation of protease. Overall, 58.3% of the 12 HIV-1 cleavage sites were significantly more diverse in C than in B viruses. When analyzed as a single concatenated fragment of 360 bp, 96.0% of group M cleavage site sequences fell into subtype-specific phylogenetic clusters, suggesting that they coevolved with the virus. Natural variation at C cleavage sites may play an important role, not only in regulation of the viral cycle but also in disease progression and response to therapy.
Project description:While the role of drug resistance mutations in HIV protease has been studied comprehensively, mutations in its substrate, Gag, have not been extensively cataloged. Using deep sequencing, we analyzed a unique collection of longitudinal viral samples from 93 patients who have been treated with therapies containing protease inhibitors (PIs). Due to the high sequence coverage within each sample, the frequencies of mutations at individual positions were calculated with high precision. We used this information to characterize the variability in the Gag polyprotein and its effects on PI-therapy outcomes. To examine covariation of mutations between two different sites using deep sequencing data, we developed an approach to estimate the tight bounds on the two-site bivariate probabilities in each viral sample, and the mutual information between pairs of positions based on all the bounds. Utilizing the new methodology we found that mutations in the matrix and p6 proteins contribute to continued therapy failure and have a major role in the network of strongly correlated mutations in the Gag polyprotein, as well as between Gag and protease. Although covariation is not direct evidence of structural propensities, we found the strongest correlations between residues on capsid and matrix of the same Gag protein were often due to structural proximity. This suggests that some of the strongest inter-protein Gag correlations are the result of structural proximity. Moreover, the strong covariation between residues in matrix and capsid at the N-terminus with p1 and p6 at the C-terminus is consistent with residue-residue contacts between these proteins at some point in the viral life cycle.