Molecular dynamics study of HIV-1 RT-DNA-Nevirapine complexes explains NNRTI inhibition, and resistance by connection mutations.

Abstract:

HIV-1 reverse transcriptase (RT) is a multifunctional enzyme that is targeted by nucleoside analogs (NRTIs) and nonnucleoside inhibitors (NNRTIs). NNRTIs are allosteric inhibitors of RT, and constitute an integral part of several highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) regimens. Under selective pressure, HIV-1 acquires resistance against NNRTIs primarily by selecting mutations around the NNRTI pocket. Complete RT sequencing of clinical isolates revealed that spatially distal mutations arising in connection and the RNase H domain also confer NNRTI resistance and contribute to NRTI resistance. However, the precise structural mechanism by which the connection domain mutations confer NNRTI resistance is poorly understood. We performed 50-ns MD simulations, followed by essential dynamics, free-energy landscape analyses and network analyses of RT-DNA, RT-DNA-nevirapine, and N348I/T369I mutant RT-DNA-nevirapine complexes. MD simulation studies revealed altered global motions and restricted conformational landscape of RT upon nevirapine binding. Analysis of protein structure network parameters demonstrated a dissortative hub pattern in the RT-DNA complex and an assortative hub pattern in the RT-DNA-nevirapine complex suggesting enhanced rigidity of RT upon nevirapine binding. The connection subdomain mutations N348I/T369I did not induce any significant structural change; rather, these mutations modulate the conformational dynamics and alter the long-range allosteric communication network between the connection subdomain and NNRTI pocket. Insights from the present study provide a structural basis for the biochemical and clinical findings on drug resistance caused by the connection and RNase H mutations. © Proteins 2013;. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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