Scientific reports 2017 03 237() 44834 doi 10.1038/srep44834
Nucleoside reverse transcriptase (RT) inhibitors constitute the backbone of current therapies against human immunodeficiency virus type 1 and type 2 (HIV-1 and HIV-2, respectively). However, mutational pathways leading to the development of nucleoside analogue resistance are different in both types of HIV. In HIV-2, resistance to all approved nucleoside analogues is conferred by the combination of RT substitutions K65R, Q151M and M184V. Nucleotide incorporation kinetic analyses of mutant and wild-type (WT) HIV-2 RTs show that the triple-mutant has decreased catalytic efficiency due to the presence of M184V. Although similar effects were previously reported for equivalent mutations in HIV-1 RT, the HIV-2 enzymes were catalytically less efficient. Interestingly, in highly divergent HIV-1 RTs, K65R confers several-fold increased accuracy of DNA synthesis. We have determined the intrinsic fidelity of DNA synthesis of WT HIV-2 RT and mutants K65R and K65R/Q151M/M184V. Our results show that those changes in HIV-2 RT have a relatively small impact on nucleotide selectivity. Furthermore, we found that there were less than two-fold differences in error rates obtained with forward mutation assays using mutant and WT HIV-2 RTs. A different conformation of the β3-β4 hairpin loop in HIV-1 and HIV-2 RTs could probably explain the differential effects of K65R.