Phenotypic susceptibility to bevirimat in isolates from HIV-1-infected patients without prior exposure to bevirimat.
ABSTRACT: Bevirimat (BVM) is the first of a new class of anti-HIV drugs with a novel mode of action known as maturation inhibitors. BVM inhibits the last cleavage of the Gag polyprotein by HIV-1 protease, leading to the accumulation of the p25 capsid-small peptide 1 (SP1) intermediate and resulting in noninfectious HIV-1 virions. Early clinical studies of BVM showed that over 50% of the patients treated with BVM did not respond to treatment. We investigated the impact of prior antiretroviral (ARV) treatment and/or natural genetic diversity on BVM susceptibility by conducting in vitro phenotypic analyses of viruses made from patient samples. We generated 31 recombinant viruses containing the entire gag and protease genes from 31 plasma samples from HIV-1-infected patients with (n = 21) or without (n = 10) prior ARV experience. We found that 58% of the patient isolates tested had a >10-fold reduced susceptibility to BVM, regardless of the patient's ARV experience or the level of isolate resistance to protease inhibitors. Analysis of mutants with site-directed mutations confirmed the role of the V370A SP1 polymorphism (SP1-V7A) in resistance to BVM. Furthermore, we demonstrated for the first time that a capsid polymorphism, V362I (CA protein-V230I), is also a major mutation conferring resistance to BVM. In contrast, none of the previously defined resistance-conferring mutations in Gag selected in vitro (H358Y, L363M, L363F, A364V, A366V, or A366T) were found to occur among the viruses that we analyzed. Our results should be helpful in the design of diagnostics for prediction of the potential benefit of BVM treatment in HIV-1-infected patients.
Project description:Concomitant with the release of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) particles from the infected cell, the viral protease cleaves the Gag polyprotein precursor at a number of sites to trigger virus maturation. We previously reported that a betulinic acid-derived compound, bevirimat (BVM), blocks HIV-1 maturation by disrupting a late step in protease-mediated Gag processing: the cleavage of the capsid-spacer peptide 1 (CA-SP1) intermediate to mature CA. BVM was shown in multiple clinical trials to be safe and effective in reducing viral loads in HIV-1-infected patients. However, naturally occurring polymorphisms in the SP1 region of Gag (e.g., SP1-V7A) led to a variable response in some BVM-treated patients. The reduced susceptibility of SP1-polymorphic HIV-1 to BVM resulted in the discontinuation of its clinical development. To overcome the loss of BVM activity induced by polymorphisms in SP1, we carried out an extensive medicinal chemistry campaign to develop novel maturation inhibitors. In this study, we focused on alkyl amine derivatives modified at the C-28 position of the BVM scaffold. We identified a set of derivatives that are markedly more potent than BVM against an HIV-1 clade B clone (NL4-3) and show robust antiviral activity against a variant of NL4-3 containing the V7A polymorphism in SP1. One of the most potent of these compounds also strongly inhibited a multiclade panel of primary HIV-1 isolates. These data demonstrate that C-28 alkyl amine derivatives of BVM can, to a large extent, overcome the loss of susceptibility imposed by polymorphisms in SP1.
Project description:Maturation of nascent virions, a key step in retroviral replication, involves cleavage of the Gag polyprotein by the viral protease into its matrix (MA), capsid (CA), and nucleocapsid (NC) components and their subsequent reorganization. Bevirimat (BVM) defines a new class of antiviral drugs termed maturation inhibitors. BVM acts by blocking the final cleavage event in Gag processing, the separation of CA from its C-terminal spacer peptide 1 (SP1). Prior evidence suggests that BVM binds to Gag assembled in immature virions, preventing the protease from accessing the CA-SP1 cleavage site. To investigate this hypothesis, we used cryo-electron tomography to examine the structures of (noninfectious) HIV-1 viral particles isolated from BVM-treated cells. We find that these particles contain an incomplete shell of density underlying the viral envelope, with a hexagonal honeycomb structure similar to the Gag lattice of immature HIV but lacking the innermost, NC-related, layer. We conclude that the shell represents a remnant of the immature Gag lattice that has been processed, except at the CA-SP1 sites, but has remained largely intact. We also compared BVM-treated particles with virions formed by the mutant CA5, in which cleavage between CA and SP1 is also blocked. Here, we find a thinner CA-related shell with no visible evidence of honeycomb organization, indicative of an altered conformation and further suggesting that binding of BVM stabilizes the immature lattice. In both cases, the observed failure to assemble mature capsids correlates with the loss of infectivity.
Project description:The maturation inhibitor bevirimat [3-O-(3',3'dimethysuccinyl)betulinic acid; BVM; also known as PA-457 or DSB] potently inhibits human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) replication by blocking protease (PR)-mediated cleavage at the junction between capsid (CA) and spacer peptide 1 (SP1) in Gag. We previously isolated a panel of single-amino-acid substitutions that confer resistance to BVM in vitro (C. S. Adamson, S. D. Ablan, I. Boeras, R. Goila-Gaur, F. Soheilian, K. Nagashima, F. Li, K. Salzwedel, M. Sakalian, C. T. Wild, and E. O. Freed, J. Virol. 80:10957-10971, 2006). The BVM resistance mutations cluster at or near the CA-SP1 cleavage site. Because BVM likely will be used clinically in patients harboring viruses resistant to PR inhibitors (PIs), in this study we evaluated the interplay between a PI-resistant (PIR) PR and the BVM resistance mutations in Gag. As expected, the PIR mutations had no effect on inhibition by BVM; however, we observed general processing defects and a slight delay in viral replication in Jurkat T cells associated with the PIR mutations, even in the absence of compound. When combined, most BVM resistance and PIR mutations acted additively to impair viral replication, particularly in the presence of BVM. The BVM-resistant mutant SP1-A1V was an exception, as it supported robust replication in the context of either wild-type (WT) or PIR PR, even at high BVM concentrations. Significantly, the emergence of BVM resistance was delayed in the context of the PIR PR, and the SP1-A1V mutation was acquired most frequently with either WT or PIR PR. These results suggest that resistance to BVM is less likely to emerge in patients who have failed PIs than in patients who are PI naive. We predict that the SP1-A1V substitution is the most likely to emerge in vivo, as this mutant replicates robustly independently of PR mutations or BVM. These findings offer insights into the effect of PIR mutations on the evolution of BVM resistance in PI-experienced patients.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Maturation inhibitors (MIs) potently block HIV-1 maturation by inhibiting the cleavage of the capsid protein and spacer peptide 1 (CA-SP1). Bevirimat (BVM), a highly efficacious first-in-class MI against HIV-1 subtype B isolates, elicited sub-optimal efficacy in clinical trials due to polymorphisms in the CA-SP1 region of the Gag protein (SP1:V7A). HIV-1 subtype C inherently contains this polymorphism thus conferring BVM resistance, however it displayed sensitivity to second generation BVM analogs.<h4>Results</h4>In this study, we have assessed the efficacy of three novel second-generation MIs (BVM analogs: CV-8611, CV-8612, CV-8613) against HIV-1 subtype B and C isolates. The BVM analogs were potent inhibitors of both HIV-1 subtype B (NL4-3) and subtype C (K3016) viruses. Serial passaging of the subtype C, K3016 virus strain in the presence of BVM analogs led to identification of two mutant viruses-Gag SP1:A1V and CA:I201V. While the SP1:A1V mutant was resistant to the MIs, the CA:I120V mutant displayed partial resistance and a MI-dependent phenotype. Further analysis of the activity of the BVM analogs against two additional HIV-1 subtype C strains, IndieC1 and ZM247 revealed that they had reduced sensitivity as compared to K3016. Sequence analysis of the three viruses identified two polymorphisms at SP1 residues 9 and 10 (K3016: N9, G10; IndieC1/ZM247: S9, T10). The N9S and S9N mutants had no change in MI-sensitivity. On the other hand, replacing glycine at residue 10 with threonine in K3016 reduced its MI sensitivity whereas introducing glycine at SP1 10 in place of threonine in IndieC1 and ZM247 significantly enhanced their MI sensitivity. Thus, the specific glycine residue 10 of SP1 in the HIV-1 subtype C viruses determined sensitivity towards BVM analogs.<h4>Conclusions</h4>We have identified an association of a specific glycine at position 10 of Gag-SP1 with an MI susceptible phenotype of HIV-1 subtype C viruses. Our findings have highlighted that HIV-1 subtype C viruses, which were inherently resistant to BVM, may also be similarly predisposed to exhibit a significant degree of resistance to second-generation BVM analogs. Our work has strongly suggested that genetic differences between HIV-1 subtypes may produce variable MI sensitivity that needs to be considered in the development of novel, potent, broadly-active MIs.
Project description:HIV-1 protease (PR) cleavage of the Gag polyprotein triggers the assembly of mature, infectious particles. Final cleavage of Gag occurs at the junction helix between the capsid protein CA and the SP1 spacer peptide. Here we used MicroED to delineate the binding interactions of the maturation inhibitor bevirimat (BVM) using very thin frozen-hydrated, 3D microcrystals of a CTD-SP1 Gag construct with and without bound BVM. The 2.9-Å MicroED structure revealed that a single BVM molecule stabilizes the six-helix bundle via both electrostatic interactions with the dimethylsuccinyl moiety and hydrophobic interactions with the pentacyclic triterpenoid ring. These results provide insight into the mechanism of action of BVM and related maturation inhibitors that will inform further drug discovery efforts. This study also demonstrates the capabilities of MicroED for structure-based drug design.
Project description:A betulinic acid-based compound, bevirimat (BVM), inhibits HIV-1 maturation by blocking a late step in protease-mediated Gag processing: the cleavage of the capsid-spacer peptide 1 (CA-SP1) intermediate to mature CA. Previous studies showed that mutations conferring resistance to BVM cluster around the CA-SP1 cleavage site. Single amino acid polymorphisms in the SP1 region of Gag and the C terminus of CA reduced HIV-1 susceptibility to BVM, leading to the discontinuation of BVM's clinical development. We recently reported a series of "second-generation" BVM analogs that display markedly improved potency and breadth of activity relative to the parent molecule. Here, we demonstrate that viral clones bearing BVM resistance mutations near the C terminus of CA are potently inhibited by second-generation BVM analogs. We performed de novo selection experiments to identify mutations that confer resistance to these novel compounds. Selection experiments with subtype B HIV-1 identified an Ala-to-Val mutation at SP1 residue 1 and a Pro-to-Ala mutation at CA residue 157 within the major homology region (MHR). In selection experiments with subtype C HIV-1, we identified mutations at CA residue 230 (CA-V230M) and SP1 residue 1 (SP1-A1V), residue 5 (SP1-S5N), and residue 10 (SP1-G10R). The positions at which resistance mutations arose are highly conserved across multiple subtypes of HIV-1. We demonstrate that the mutations confer modest to high-level maturation inhibitor resistance. In most cases, resistance was not associated with a detectable increase in the kinetics of CA-SP1 processing. These results identify mutations that confer resistance to second-generation maturation inhibitors and provide novel insights into the mechanism of resistance.IMPORTANCE HIV-1 maturation inhibitors are a class of small-molecule compounds that block a late step in the viral protease-mediated processing of the Gag polyprotein precursor, the viral protein responsible for the formation of virus particles. The first-in-class HIV-1 maturation inhibitor bevirimat was highly effective in blocking HIV-1 replication, but its activity was compromised by naturally occurring sequence polymorphisms within Gag. Recently developed bevirimat analogs, referred to as "second-generation" maturation inhibitors, overcome this issue. To understand more about how these second-generation compounds block HIV-1 maturation, here we selected for HIV-1 mutants that are resistant to these compounds. Selections were performed in the context of two different subtypes of HIV-1. We identified a small set of mutations at highly conserved positions within the capsid and spacer peptide 1 domains of Gag that confer resistance. Identification and analysis of these maturation inhibitor-resistant mutants provide insights into the mechanisms of resistance to these compounds.
Project description:HIV-1 maturation inhibitors (MIs) disrupt the final step in the HIV-1 protease-mediated cleavage of the Gag polyprotein between capsid p24 capsid (CA) and spacer peptide 1 (SP1), leading to the production of infectious virus. BMS-955176 is a second generation MI with improved antiviral activity toward polymorphic Gag variants compared to a first generation MI bevirimat (BVM). The underlying mechanistic reasons for the differences in polymorphic coverage were studied using antiviral assays, an LC/MS assay that quantitatively characterizes CA/SP1 cleavage kinetics of virus like particles (VLPs) and a radiolabel binding assay to determine VLP/MI affinities and dissociation kinetics. Antiviral assay data indicates that BVM does not achieve 100% inhibition of certain polymorphs, even at saturating concentrations. This results in the breakthrough of infectious virus (partial antagonism) regardless of BVM concentration. Reduced maximal percent inhibition (MPI) values for BVM correlated with elevated EC50 values, while rates of HIV-1 protease cleavage at CA/SP1 correlated inversely with the ability of BVM to inhibit HIV-1 Gag polymorphic viruses: genotypes with more rapid CA/SP1 cleavage kinetics were less sensitive to BVM. In vitro inhibition of wild type VLP CA/SP1 cleavage by BVM was not maintained at longer cleavage times. BMS-955176 exhibited greatly improved MPI against polymorphic Gag viruses, binds to Gag polymorphs with higher affinity/longer dissociation half-lives and exhibits greater time-independent inhibition of CA/SP1 cleavage compared to BVM. Virological (MPI) and biochemical (CA/SP1 cleavage rates, MI-specific Gag affinities) data were used to create an integrated semi-quantitative model that quantifies CA/SP1 cleavage rates as a function of both MI and Gag polymorph. The model outputs are in accord with in vitro antiviral observations and correlate with observed in vivo MI efficacies. Overall, these findings may be useful to further understand antiviral profiles and clinical responses of MIs at a basic level, potentially facilitating further improvements to MI potency and coverage.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Maturation inhibitors are a new class of antiretroviral drugs. Bevirimat (BVM) was the first substance in this class of inhibitors entering clinical trials. While the inhibitory function of BVM is well established, the molecular mechanisms of action and resistance are not well understood. It is known that mutations in the regions CS p24/p2 and p2 can cause phenotypic resistance to BVM. We have investigated a set of p24/p2 sequences of HIV-1 of known phenotypic resistance to BVM to test whether BVM resistance can be predicted from sequence, and to identify possible molecular mechanisms of BVM resistance in HIV-1.<h4>Results</h4>We used artificial neural networks and random forests with different descriptors for the prediction of BVM resistance. Random forests with hydrophobicity as descriptor performed best and classified the sequences with an area under the Receiver Operating Characteristics (ROC) curve of 0.93 +/- 0.001. For the collected data we find that p2 sequence positions 369 to 376 have the highest impact on resistance, with positions 370 and 372 being particularly important. These findings are in partial agreement with other recent studies. Apart from the complex machine learning models we derived a number of simple rules that predict BVM resistance from sequence with surprising accuracy. According to computational predictions based on the data set used, cleavage sites are usually not shifted by resistance mutations. However, we found that resistance mutations could shorten and weaken the alpha-helix in p2, which hints at a possible resistance mechanism.<h4>Conclusions</h4>We found that BVM resistance of HIV-1 can be predicted well from the sequence of the p2 peptide, which may prove useful for personalized therapy if maturation inhibitors reach clinical practice. Results of secondary structure analysis are compatible with a possible route to BVM resistance in which mutations weaken a six-helix bundle discovered in recent experiments, and thus ease Gag cleavage by the retroviral protease.
Project description:Processing of the Gag precursor protein by the viral protease during particle release triggers virion maturation, an essential step in the virus replication cycle. The first-in-class HIV-1 maturation inhibitor dimethylsuccinyl betulinic acid [PA-457 or bevirimat (BVM)] blocks HIV-1 maturation by inhibiting the cleavage of the capsid-spacer peptide 1 (CA-SP1) intermediate to mature CA. A structurally distinct molecule, PF-46396, was recently reported to have a similar mode of action to that of BVM. Because of the structural dissimilarity between BVM and PF-46396, we hypothesized that the two compounds might interact differentially with the putative maturation inhibitor-binding pocket in Gag. To test this hypothesis, PF-46396 resistance was selected for in vitro. Resistance mutations were identified in three regions of Gag: around the CA-SP1 cleavage site where BVM resistance maps, at CA amino acid 201, and in the CA major homology region (MHR). The MHR mutants are profoundly PF-46396-dependent in Gag assembly and release and virus replication. The severe defect exhibited by the inhibitor-dependent MHR mutants in the absence of the compound is also corrected by a second-site compensatory change far downstream in SP1, suggesting structural and functional cross-talk between the HIV-1 CA MHR and SP1. When PF-46396 and BVM were both present in infected cells they exhibited mutually antagonistic behavior. Together, these results identify Gag residues that line the maturation inhibitor-binding pocket and suggest that BVM and PF-46396 interact differentially with this putative pocket. These findings provide novel insights into the structure-function relationship between the CA MHR and SP1, two domains of Gag that are critical to both assembly and maturation. The highly conserved nature of the MHR across all orthoretroviridae suggests that these findings will be broadly relevant to retroviral assembly. Finally, the results presented here provide a framework for increased structural understanding of HIV-1 maturation inhibitor activity.
Project description:Since the beginning of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) epidemic, many groups of drugs characterized by diverse mechanisms of action have been developed, which can suppress HIV viremia. 3-O-(3',3'-Dimethylsuccinyl) betulinic acid, known as bevirimat (BVM), was the first compound in the class of HIV maturation inhibitors. In the present work, phosphate and phosphonate derivatives of 3-carboxyacylbetulinic acid were synthesized and evaluated for anti-HIV-1 activity. In vitro studies showed that 30-diethylphosphonate analog of BVM (compound 14a) has comparable effects to BVM (half maximal inhibitory concentrations (IC50) equal to 0.02 ?M and 0.03 ?M, respectively) and is also more selective (selectivity indices: 3450 and 967, respectively). To investigate the possible mechanism of antiviral effect of 14a, molecular docking was carried out on the C-terminal domain (CTD) of HIV-1 capsid (CA)-spacer peptide 1 (SP1) fragment of Gag protein, designated as CTD-SP1, which was described as a molecular target for maturation inhibitors. Compared with interactions between BVM and the protein, an increased number of strong interactions between ligand 14a and protein, generated by the phosphonate group, was observed.