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Mutations in multiple domains of Gag drive the emergence of in vitro resistance to the phosphonate-containing HIV-1 protease inhibitor GS-8374.

ABSTRACT: GS-8374 is a potent HIV protease inhibitor (PI) with a unique diethyl-phosphonate moiety. Due to a balanced contribution of enthalpic and entropic components to its interaction with the protease (PR) active site, the compound retains activity against HIV mutants with high-level multi-PI resistance. We report here the in vitro selection and characterization of HIV variants resistant to GS-8374. While highly resistant viruses with multiple mutations in PR were isolated in the presence of control PIs, an HIV variant displaying moderate (14-fold) resistance to GS-8374 was generated only after prolonged passaging for >300 days. The isolate showed low-level cross-resistance to darunavir, atazanavir, lopinavir, and saquinavir, but not other PIs, and contained a single R41K mutation in PR combined with multiple genotypic changes in the Gag matrix, capsid, nucleocapsid, and SP2 domains. Mutations also occurred in the transframe peptide and p6* domain of the Gag-Pol polyprotein. Analysis of recombinant HIV variants indicated that mutations in Gag, but not the R41K in PR, conferred reduced susceptibility to GS-8374. The Gag mutations acted in concert, since they did not affect susceptibility when introduced individually. Analysis of viral particles revealed that the mutations rendered Gag more susceptible to PR-mediated cleavage in the presence of GS-8374. In summary, the emergence of resistance to GS-8374 involved a combination of substrate mutations without typical resistance mutations in PR. These substrate changes were distributed throughout Gag and acted in an additive manner. Thus, they are classified as primary resistance mutations indicating a unique mechanism and pathway of resistance development for GS-8374.


PROVIDER: S-EPMC3536386 | BioStudies | 2013-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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