Journal of medicinal chemistry 2017 02 14() doi 10.1021/acs.jmedchem.6b01767
HIV-1 protease inhibitors are crucial for treatment of HIV-1/AIDS, but their effectiveness is thwarted by rapid emergence of drug resistance. To better understand binding of clinical inhibitors to resistant HIV-1 protease, we used room-temperature joint X-ray/Neutron (XN) crystallography to obtain an atomic-resolution structure of the protease triple mutant (V32I/I47V/V82I) in complex with amprenavir. The XN structure reveals a D+ ion located midway between the inner Oδ1 oxygen atoms of the catalytic aspartic acid residues. Comparison of the current XN structure with our previous XN structure of the wild-type HIV-1 protease-amprenavir complex suggests that the three mutations do not significantly alter the drug-enzyme interactions. This is in contrast to the observations in previous 100K X-ray structures of these complexes that indicated loss of interactions by the drug with the triple mutant protease. These findings, thus, uncover limitations of structural analysis of drug binding using X-ray structures obtained at 100K.