Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America vol:93 issue:23 pages:13152-7
Exposure to 3TC of HIV-1 mutant strains containing non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI)-specific mutations in their reverse transcriptase (RT) easily selected for double-mutant viruses that had acquired the characteristic 184-Ile mutation in their RT in addition to the NNRTI-specific mutations. Conversely, exposure of 3TC-resistant 184-Val mutant HIV-1 strains to nine different NNRTIs resulted in the rapid emergence of NNRTI-resistant virus strains at a time that was not more delayed than when wild-type HIV-1(IIIB) was exposed to the same compounds. The RTs of these resistant virus strains had acquired the NNRTI-characteristic mutations in addition to the preexisting 184-Val mutation. Surprisingly, when the 184-Ile mutant HIV-1 was exposed to a variety of NNRTIs, the 188-His mutation invariably occurred concomitantly with the 184-Ile mutation in the HIV-1 RT. Breakthrough of this double-mutant virus was markedly accelerated as compared with the mutant virus selected from the wild-type or 184-Val mutant HIV-1 strain. The double (184-Ile + 188-His) mutant virus showed a much more profound resistance profile against the NNRTIs than the 188-His HIV-1 mutant. In contrast with the sequential chemotherapy, concomitant combination treatment of HIV-1-infected cells with 3TC and a variety of NNRTIs resulted in a dramatic delay of virus breakthrough and resistance development.