The pyrophosphate analogue foscarnet traps the pre-translocational state of HIV-1 reverse transcriptase in a Brownian ratchet model of polymerase translocation.
ABSTRACT The pyrophosphate (PPi) analogue phosphonoformic acid (PFA or foscarnet) inhibits the reverse transcriptase (RT) of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1); however, the mechanisms of drug action and resistance remain elusive. Here we studied the effects of the translocational status of HIV-1 RT on drug binding and inhibition of DNA synthesis. We identified "hot spots" for inhibition during active elongation. Site-specific footprinting analyses revealed that the corresponding complexes exist predominantly in the pre-translocational state. The sensitivity to PFA is significantly reduced with sequences that show a bias toward the post-translocational state. Binding studies showed that PFA stabilizes selectively the complex in the pre-translocated configuration. These findings are consistent with a Brownian ratchet model of polymerase translocation. The enzyme can rapidly shuttle between pre- and post-translocated states. The bound inhibitor acts like a pawl of a ratchet and prevents the forward motion of HIV-1 RT, whereas the bound nucleotide binds to the post-translocated complex and prevents the reverse motion. The proposed mechanisms of RT translocation and drug action are consistent with the PFA-resistant phenotypes. We show that certain sequences and the PFA-resistant E89K mutant diminishes the stability of the pre-translocated complex. In these cases, the enzyme is seen at multiple positions around the 3' end of the primer, which provides a novel mechanism for resistance. These findings validate the pre-translocated complex as a target for the development of novel, perhaps less toxic and more potent inhibitors that block HIV-1 RT translocation.
Article: Examining the ribonuclease H primer grip of HIV-1 reverse transcriptase by charge neutralization of RNA/DNA hybrids.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The crystal structure of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) reverse transcriptase (RT) bound to an RNA/DNA hybrid reveals an extensive network of contacts with the phosphate backbone of the DNA strand approximately 4-9 bp downstream from the ribonuclease H (RNase H) catalytic center. Collectively designated as 'the RNase H primer grip', this motif contains a phosphate binding pocket analogous to the human and Bacillus halodurans RNases H. The notion that the RNase H primer grip mediates the trajectory of RNA/DNA hybrids accessing the RNase H active site suggests that locally neutralizing the phosphate backbone may be exploited to manipulate nucleic acid flexibility. To examine this, we introduced single and tandem methylphosphonate substitutions through the region of the DNA primer contacted by the RNase H primer grip and into the RNase H catalytic center. The ability of mutant hybrids to support RNase H and DNA polymerase activity was thereafter examined. In addition, site-specific chemical footprinting was used to evaluate movement of the DNA polymerase and RNase H domains. We show here that minor alteration to the RNase H primer can have a dramatic effect on enzyme positioning, and discuss these findings in light of recent crystallography of human RNase H containing an RNA/DNA hybrid.Nucleic Acids Research 11/2008; 36(20):6363-71. · 8.03 Impact Factor
Article: HIV-1 Reverse Transcriptase Still Remains a New Drug Target: Structure, Function, Classical Inhibitors, and New Inhibitors with Innovative Mechanisms of Actions.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: During the retrotranscription process, characteristic of all retroviruses, the viral ssRNA genome is converted into integration-competent dsDNA. This process is accomplished by the virus-coded reverse transcriptase (RT) protein, which is a primary target in the current treatments for HIV-1 infection. In particular, in the approved therapeutic regimens two classes of drugs target RT, namely, nucleoside RT inhibitors (NRTIs) and nonnucleoside RT inhibitors (NNRTIs). Both classes inhibit the RT-associated polymerase activity: the NRTIs compete with the natural dNTP substrate and act as chain terminators, while the NNRTIs bind to an allosteric pocket and inhibit polymerization noncompetitively. In addition to these two classes, other RT inhibitors (RTIs) that target RT by distinct mechanisms have been identified and are currently under development. These include translocation-defective RTIs, delayed chain terminators RTIs, lethal mutagenesis RTIs, dinucleotide tetraphosphates, nucleotide-competing RTIs, pyrophosphate analogs, RT-associated RNase H function inhibitors, and dual activities inhibitors. This paper describes the HIV-1 RT function and molecular structure, illustrates the currently approved RTIs, and focuses on the mechanisms of action of the newer classes of RTIs.Molecular biology international. 01/2012; 2012:586401.
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ABSTRACT: Nucleoside reverse transcriptase (RT) inhibitors of HIV block viral replication through the ability of HIV RT to incorporate chain-terminating nucleotide analogs during viral DNA synthesis. Once incorporated, the chain-terminating residue must be removed before DNA synthesis can continue. Removal can be accomplished by the excision activity of HIV RT, which catalyzes the transfer of the 3'-terminal residue on the blocked DNA chain to an acceptor substrate, probably ATP in most infected cells. Mutations of RT that enhance excision activity are the most common cause of resistance to 3'-azido-3'-deoxythymidine (AZT) and exhibit low-level cross-resistance to most other nucleoside RT inhibitors. The resistance to AZT is suppressed by a number of additional mutations in RT, most of which were identified because they conferred resistance to other RT inhibitors. Here we review current understanding of the biochemical mechanisms responsible for increased or decreased excision activity due to these mutations.Viruses 01/2010; 2(2):372-394. · 1.50 Impact Factor