Significance of amino acid substitutions in the thymidine kinase gene of herpes simplex virus type 1 for resistance

Institute of Virology and Antiviral Therapy, German Reference Laboratory for HSV and VZV, Jena University Clinic, Friedrich Schiller University of Jena, 07745 Jena, Germany. Electronic address: .
Antiviral research (Impact Factor: 3.94). 08/2012; 96(2):105-107. DOI: 10.1016/j.antiviral.2012.08.001
Source: PubMed


The analysis of the viral thymidine kinase (TK) genotype is of rising significance for testing resistance of herpes simplex virus (HSV) to antivirals especially acyclovir. However, numerous of the described amino acid (aa) substitutions are diagnostically less conclusive because of the pronounced natural polymorphism of this gene. In this study, several aa substitutions in the TK sequence of HSV-1 with unclear significance for resistance were analyzed by expression of recombinant TK proteins and determination of enzymatic activity on the basis of an enzyme linked immunosorbent assay using bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) as TK substrate. The recombinant TK wild-type protein resulted in high TK activity and TK mutant with stop of translation showed negative results. The recombinant TK proteins containing the aa substitutions R41H or V348I had high phosphorylation activities suggesting most likely natural gene polymorphisms. By contrast, the aa changes Y53H, L139V, R163H, L298A and L315S were accompanied by negative or weakly positive TK activities indicating resistance association. In conclusion, the combination of methods described here represents a useful tool to evaluate the significance of aa substitutions for resistance of clinical HSV-1 strains.

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    • "However, conversely to CMV (Chou, 2010; Martin et al., 2006), BAC technology for drug-resistance study is not yet available for HSV. Therefore , the evaluation of enzymatic activity of recombinant viral proteins using non-radioactive methods, as previously reported for TK, will be useful in that field (Burrel et al., 2012; Malartre et al., 2012; Sauerbrei et al., 2012). "
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    ABSTRACT: Herpes simplex virus (HSV) resistance to antivirals constitutes a therapeutic challenge, especially among immunocompromised patients. This observational survey on HSV resistance to antivirals was conducted retrospectively over a 4-year period (2008-2012). A total of 211 HSV-positive clinical samples (94 HSV-1 and 117 HSV-2) recovered from 139 patients (11 immunocompetent patients, 85 immunocompromised patients, and 43 patients with unknown immune status) with suspected HSV drug-resistance were analyzed for acyclovir and foscarnet susceptibility. Antiviral resistance testing consisted in a two-step procedure including a first-step genotypic assay, based on UL23 (thymidine kinase, TK) and UL30 (Pol) gene sequencing, and a second-step phenotypic assay (i.e., plaque reduction assay) performed when unpreviously described mutations were detected. As a whole, susceptibility and resistance to antivirals were evidenced for 58 (30.7%) and 86 (45.5%) HSV, respectively, whereas antiviral profile remained undetermined for 45 (23.8%) HSV. The prevalence of drug resistance was significantly higher among HSV-2 isolates than among HSV-1 isolates (53.8% vs. 34.9%; p = 0.012). The majority (i.e., 79.7%) of cases of ACV resistance conferred by TK mutations resulted from UL23 gene frameshift reading. Apart from the changes surely related to natural polymorphism or drug-resistance, 91 unpreviously reported mutations were identified in TK and Pol, including 51 potential natural polymorphisms, 22 mutations likely conferring resistance to antivirals, and 18 mutations of unclear significance.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2013 · Antiviral research
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    No preview · Article · Dec 2012 · Journal of virological methods
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Acyclovir (ACV) is the antiviral drug of choice to treat patients with herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) uveitis. The prevalence of intra-ocular ACV-resistant (ACV(R)) HSV-1 in herpetic uveitis is unknown and may have clinical consequences. In addition to its predictive value on ACV susceptibility, the polymorphic HSV-1 thymidine kinase (TK) gene facilitates differentiation between HSV-1 strains. OBJECTIVES: The objective of this study was to determine the genetic composition and ACV susceptibility of the causative virus in intra-ocular fluid samples (IOF) of HSV-1 uveitis patients. STUDY DESIGN: The intra-ocular HSV-1 pool from 11 HSV-1 uveitis patients was determined by sequencing IOF-derived viral TK genes. The ACV susceptibility profile of the cloned intra-ocular TK variants was defined by mass spectrometry. In addition, the ganciclovir (GCV) susceptibility of the ACV(R) HSV-1 TK variants was defined. RESULTS: Intra-ocular fluid samples of HSV-1 uveitis patients contain HSV-1 quasispecies, principally consisting of one major and multiple genetically related minor patient-specific TK variants. Four of 10 patients analyzed had an intra-ocular ACV(R) HSV-1 of which 3 were cross-resistant to GCV. The ACV(R) profile of intra-ocular HSV-1 did not correlate with symptomatic ACV treatment. CONCLUSIONS: Affected eyes of HSV-1 uveitis patients are commonly infected with a patient-specific HSV-1 quasispecies, including one major and multiple genetically related minor variants. A relatively high prevalence of intra-ocular ACV(R) HSV-1, mainly ACV/GCV cross-resistant viruses, was detected in HSV-1 uveitis patients.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2013 · Journal of clinical virology: the official publication of the Pan American Society for Clinical Virology
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