Differential removal of thymidine nucleotide analogues from blocked DNA chains by human immunodeficiency virus reverse transcriptase in the presence of physiological concentrations of 2'-deoxynucleoside triphosphates.


Removal of 2',3'-didehydro-3'-deoxythymidine-5'-monophosphate (d4TMP) from a blocked DNA chain can occur through transfer of the chain-terminating residue to a nucleotide acceptor by human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) reverse transcriptase (RT). ATP-dependent removal of either d4TMP or 3'-azido-3'-deoxythymidine-5'-monophosphate (AZTMP) is increased in AZT resistant HIV-1 RT (containing D67N/K70R/T215F/K219Q mutations). Removal of d4TMP is strongly inhibited by the next complementary deoxynucleoside triphosphate (50% inhibitory concentration [IC(50)] of approximately 0.5 microM), whereas removal of AZTMP is much less sensitive to this inhibition (IC(50) of >100 microM). This could explain the lack of cross-resistance by AZT-resistant HIV-1 to d4T in phenotypic drug susceptibility assays.





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