Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) entry is an attractive target for therapeutic intervention. Two drugs that inhibit this process have been approved: the fusion inhibitor T20 (enfuvirtide [Fuzeon]) and, more recently, the CCR5 blocker maraviroc (Selzentry). T1249 is a second-generation fusion inhibitor with improved antiviral potency compared to the first-generation peptide T20. We selected T1249-resistant HIV-1 variants in vitro by serial virus passage in the presence of increasing T1249 doses after passage with wild-type and T20-resistant variants. Sequence analysis revealed the acquisition of substitutions within the HR1 region of the gp41 ectodomain. The virus acquired mutations of residue V38 to either E or R in 10 of 19 cultures. Both E and R at position 38 were confirmed to cause resistance to T1249, as well as cross-resistance to T20 and C34, but not to the third-generation fusion inhibitor T2635. We also observed substitutions at residues 79 and 90 (Q79E and K90E), which provide modest resistance to T1249 and, interestingly, T2635. Thus, the gp41 amino acid position implicated in T20 resistance (V38 replaced by A, G, or W) is also responsible for T1249 resistance (V38 replaced by E, R, or K). These results indicate that T20 and T1249 exhibit very similar inhibition modes that call for similar but not identical resistance mutations. All T1249-resistant viruses with changes at position 38 are cross resistant to T20, but not vice versa. Furthermore, substitutions at position 38 do not provide resistance to the third-generation inhibitor T2635, while substitution at positions 79 and 90 do, suggesting different resistance mechanisms.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Insect Science