RNA and DNA aptamers specific for HIV-1 reverse transcriptase (RT) can inhibit reverse transcription in vitro. RNA aptamers have been shown to potently block HIV-1 replication in culture. We previously reported mutants of HIV-1 RT with substitutions N255D or N265D that display resistance to the DNA aptamer RTIt49. Variant viruses bearing these mutations singly or in combination were compromised for replication. In order to address the wider applicability of such aptamers, HIV-1 RT variants containing the N255D, N265D or both (DbI) were tested for the extent of their cross-resistance to other DNA/RNA aptamers as well as to other RT inhibitors. Both N265D and DbI RTs were resistant to most aptamers tested. N255D mutant displayed mild resistance to two of the DNA aptamers, little change in sensitivity to three and hypersensitivity to one. Although all mutants displayed wild type-like ribonuclease H activity, their activity was compromised under conditions that prevent re-binding. This suggests that the processivity defect caused by these mutations can also affect RNase H function thus contributing further to the replication defect in mutant viruses. These results indicate that mutants conferring resistance to anti-RT aptamers significantly affect many HIV-1 RT enzymatic activities, which could contribute to preventing the development of resistance in vivo. If such mutations were to arise in vivo, our results suggest that variant viruses should remain susceptible to many existing anti-RT inhibitors. This result was tempered by the observation that NRTI-resistance mutations such as K65R can confer resistance to some anti-RT aptamers. © 2005 Fisher et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Fisher, T. S., Joshi, P., & Prasad, V. R. (2005). HIV-1 reverse transcriptase mutations that confer decreased in vitro susceptibility to anti-RT DNA aptamer RT1t49 confer cross resistance to other anti-RT aptamers but not to standard RT inhibitors. AIDS Research and Therapy, 2(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/1742-6405-2-8