Role of Baseline pol Genotype in HIV-1 Fitness Evolution.
ABSTRACT Viral fitness can be modified upon development of antiretroviral drug resistance, usually by selection of compensatory mutations. In this study, we have used HIV-1 isolates from individuals receiving a protease inhibitor (PI)-based regimen to analyze the impact of basal genetic background on viral fitness evolution. Paired plasma samples and HIV-1 isolates were obtained from 10 PI-naive HIV-infected individuals enrolled in 2 different studies of combination antiretroviral therapy. Genomic regions from pol and env were sequenced. Viral fitness was measured using growth competition experiments followed by heteroduplex tracking analysis. Baseline genotypic analyses of pol showed that 9 of 10 viruses had a different degree of secondary mutations in the protease gene at codons associated with PI resistance (i.e., 10I, 36I, 63P, 71T, and 77I). After 48 weeks of PI-based therapy, a strong correlation was observed between protease genetic divergence and viral fitness difference (r = 0.78, P = 0.03), but not with reverse transcription or Env divergence, suggesting that genotypic changes in the protease gene were driving HIV-1 evolution in these patients. As expected, an inverse correlation was observed between the number of protease and reverse transcription primary mutations and viral fitness (r = -0.65, P < 0.0001). However, our results suggest that the preexistence of secondary mutations in protease genetic background may have implications in HIV-1 fitness evolution and virologic response to antiretroviral therapy.
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ABSTRACT: Most studies describing phenotypic resistance to integrase strand transfer inhibitors have analyzed viruses carrying only patient-derived HIV-1 integrase genes (INT-recombinant viruses). However, to date, many of the patients on INSTI-based treatment regimes, such as raltegravir (RAL), elvitegravir (EVG), and dolutegravir (DTG) are infected with multidrug-resistant HIV-1 strains. Here we analyzed the effect of drug resistance mutations in Gag (p2/NCp7/p1/p6), protease (PR), reverse transcriptase (RT), and integrase (IN) coding regions on susceptibility to INSTIs and viral replicative fitness using a novel HIV-1 phenotyping assay. Initial characterization based on site-directed mutant INSTI-resistant viruses confirmed the effect of a series of INSTI mutations on reduced susceptibility to EVG and RAL and viral replicative fitness (0.6% to 99% relative to the HIV-1NL4-3 control). Two sets of recombinant viruses containing a 3,428-bp gag-p2/NCp7/p1/p6/pol-PR/RT/IN (p2-INT) or a 1,088 bp integrase (INT) patient-derived fragment were constructed from plasma samples obtained from 27 virologic failure patients participating in a 48-week dose-ranging study of elvitegravir, GS-US-183-0105. A strong correlation was observed when susceptibility to EVG and RAL was assayed using p2-INT- vs. INT-recombinant viruses (Pearson coefficient correlation 0.869 and 0.918, P<0.0001 for EVG and RAL, respectively), demonstrating that mutations in the protease and RT have limited effect on susceptibility to these INSTIs. On the other hand, the replicative fitness of viruses harboring drug resistance mutations in PR, RT, and IN was generally impaired compared to viruses carrying only INSTI-resistance mutations. Thus, in the absence of drug pressure, drug resistance mutations in the PR and RT contribute to decrease the replicative fitness of the virus already impaired by mutations in the integrase. The use of recombinant viruses containing most or all HIV-1 regions targeted by antiretroviral drugs might be essential to understand the collective effect of epistatic interactions in multidrug-resistant viruses.PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(6):e65631. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Approximately 20 years has passed since the first human trial with HIV-1 protease inhibitors (PIs). PIs set the stage for combination therapy in the mid '90s but are now rarely used in first line combination therapy and reserved for salvage therapy. Initially, resistance to PIs was deemed unlikely due to the small enzymatic target with limited genetic diversity, the extended drug binding site in PR, and the need to cleave multiple sites in the HIV-1 precursor proteins. However, a highly PI resistant virus can emerge during treatment and is found to harbor a collection of primary drug resistant mutations near the drug/substrate binding site as well as secondary mutations that compensate for fitness loss. For years, the research field has debated the impact of these secondary mutations on the emergence rates of high level PI resistance. A recent study by Theys et al poses a more pertinent question related to disease progression in patients newly infected with virus harboring secondary PI-associated polymorphisms. They show that increased rates of disease progression, inferred by increased viral loads and decreased CD4 cell counts, correlate with a fitness score of the infecting virus. The modeled fitness scores increased with an accumulation of these secondary PI mutations, and not due to any one specific polymorphism. Please see related article: http://www.retrovirology.com/content/9/1/81.BMC Medicine 10/2012; 10(1):114. · 7.28 Impact Factor