We isolated two template analog reverse transcriptase (RT) inhibitor-resistant mutants of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) type 1 RT by using the DNA aptamer, RT1t49. The mutations associated, N255D or N265D, displayed low-level resistance to RT1t49, while high-level resistance could be observed when both mutations were present (Dbl). Molecular clones of HIV that contained the mutations produced replication-defective virions. All three RT mutants displayed severe processivity defects. Thus, while biochemical resistance to the DNA aptamer RT1t49 can be generated in vitro via multiple mutations, the overlap between the aptamer- and template-primer-binding pockets favors mutations that also affect the RT-template-primer interaction. Therefore, viruses with such mutations are replication defective. Potent inhibition and a built-in mechanism to render aptamer-resistant viruses replication defective make this an attractive class of inhibitors.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science