Prevalence of low-level HIV-1 variants with reverse transcriptase mutation K65R and the effect of antiretroviral drug exposure on variant levels.
ABSTRACT It has been reported that treatment-naive individuals infected with HIV-1 subtype C may be more likely to harbour viral variants possessing a K65R reverse transcriptase gene mutation. The objectives of this study were to determine the prevalence of low-level K65R variants within different HIV-1 subtypes and to assess the effects of antiretroviral exposure on K65R variant levels.
Treatment-naive individuals infected with different HIV-1 subtypes were genotyped by ultra-deep sequencing. Samples were evaluated for low-level variants to 0.4% or 1% levels depending upon viral load. Estimated mutational load was calculated by multiplying the percentage of the variant by the plasma viral load.
A total of 411 treatment-naive individuals were evaluated by ultra-deep sequencing to 1% levels; 4 subjects (0.97%) had K65R variants at ≥1% or had a very high mutation load. All four subjects had variants with linked drug resistance mutations suggesting transmitted resistant variants. 147 ARV-naive subjects were sequenced to 0.4% levels; 8.8% (13/147) had K65R low-level variants identified: 2.2% (2/92) in subtype B, 35.7% (10/28) in subtype C (P<0.001 for B versus C) and 3.7% (1/27) in non-B/C subtypes. The 13 ARV-naive subjects with K65R variants at <1% received tenofovir plus emtricitabine plus a ritonavir-boosted protease inhibitor (TDF+FTC+PI/r) and 5 subsequently experienced virological failure. There was no enhancement in K65R levels by percentage or mutational load compared to pre-therapy levels.
Low-level K65R variants were more frequently identified in subtype C. K65R variants at >1% levels likely represent transmitted resistant variants. The clinical implication of low-level K65R variants below 1% in treatment-naive subjects who receive TDF+FTC+PI/r remains to be determined as the majority are very low-level and did not increase after antiretroviral exposure.
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ABSTRACT: Mutations in HIV-1 reverse transcriptase (RT) that confer nucleoside analog RT inhibitor resistance have highlighted the functional importance of several active site residues (M184, Q151 and K65) in RT catalytic function. Of these, K65 residue is notable due to its pivotal position in the dNTP-binding pocket, its involvement in nucleoside analog resistance and polymerase fidelity. This review focuses on K65 residue and summarizes a substantial body of biochemical and structural studies of its role in RT function and the functional consequences of the K65R mutation.Viruses 10/2014; 6(10):4080-4094. · 3.28 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Low-frequency HIV variants possessing resistance mutations against non‑nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTI), especially at HIV reverse transcriptase (RT) amino acid (aa) positions K103 and Y181, have been shown to adversely affect treatment response. Therapeutic failure correlates with both the mutant viral variant frequency and the mutational load. We determined the prevalence of NNRTI resistance mutations at several RT aa positions in viruses from 204 antiretroviral (ARV)-naïve HIV-infected individuals using deep sequencing, and examined the relationship between mutant variant frequency and mutational load for those variants. Deep sequencing to ≥0.4% levels found variants with major NNRTI-resistance mutations having a Stanford-HIVdb algorithm value ≥30 for efavirenz and/or nevirapine in 52/204 (25.5%) ARV-naïve HIV-infected persons. Eighteen different major NNRTI mutations were identified at 11 different positions, with the majority of variants being at frequency >1%. The frequency of these variants correlated strongly with the mutational load, but this correlation weakened at low frequencies. Deep sequencing detected additional major NNRTI-resistant viral variants in treatment-naïve HIV-infected individuals. Our study suggests the significance of screening for mutations at all RT aa positions (in addition to K103 and Y181) to estimate the true burden of pre-treatment NNRTI-resistance. An important finding was that variants at low frequency had a wide range of mutational loads (>100-fold) suggesting that frequency alone may underestimate the impact of specific NNRTI-resistant variants. We recommend further evaluation of all low-frequency NNRTI-drug resistant variants with special attention given to the impact of mutational loads of these variants on treatment outcomes.Viruses 09/2014; 6(9):3428-3437. · 3.28 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: E138K, a G→A mutation in HIV-1 reverse transcriptase (RT), is preferentially selected by etravirine (ETR) and rilpivirine over other substitutions at position E138 that offer greater drug resistance. We hypothesized that there was a mutational bias for the E138K substitution and designed an allele-specific PCR to monitor the emergence of E138A/G/K/Q/R/V during ETR selection experiments. We also performed competition experiments using mutated viruses and quantified the prevalence of E138 minority species in drug-naive patients. E138K, as well as E138G, consistently emerged first during ETR selection experiments, followed by E138A and E138Q; E138R was never selected. Surprisingly, E138K was identified as a tiny minority in 23% of drug-naive subtype B patients, a result confirmed by ultradeep sequencing (UDS). This result could reflect a low fitness cost of E138K; however, E138K was one of the least fit substitutions at codon E138, even after taking into account the deoxynucleoside triphosphate pools of the cells used in competition experiments. Further UDS analysis revealed other minority species in a pattern consistent with the mutational bias of HIV RT. There was no evidence of APOBEC3-hypermutation in these selection experiments or in patients. Our results confirm the mutational bias of HIV-1 in patients and highlight the importance of G→A mutations in HIV-1 drug resistance evolution.Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 10/2013; 57(10). · 4.45 Impact Factor