The methionine-to-valine mutation in codon 184 (M184V) in reverse transcriptase (RT) of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) or simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) confers resistance to (-)-2′-deoxy-3′-thiacytidine (3TC; lamivudine) and increased sensitivity to 9-[2-(phosphonomethoxy)propyl] adenine (PMPA; tenofovir). We have used the SIV model to evaluate the effect of the M184V mutation on the emergence of resistance to the combination of 3TC plus PMPA. A site-directed mutant of SIVmac239 containing M184V (SIVmac239-184V) was used to select for resistance to both 3TC and PMPA by serial passage in the presence of increasing concentrations of both drugs. Under these selection conditions, the M184V mutation reverted in the majority of the selections. Variants resistant to both drugs were found to have the lysine-to-arginine mutation at codon 65 (K65R), which has previously been associated with resistance to PMPA in both SIV and HIV. Similarly, in rhesus macaques infected with SIVmac239-184V for 46 weeks and treated daily with (-)-2′-deoxy-5-fluoro-3′-thiacytidine [(-)-FTC], there was no reversion of M184V, but this mutation reverted to 184 M in all three animals within 24 weeks of treatment with (-)-FTC and PMPA. Although the addition of PMPA to the (-)-FTC therapy induced a decrease in virus loads in plasma, these loads eventually returned to pre-PMPA levels in each case. All animals receiving this combination developed the K65R mutation. These results demonstrate that the combination of PMPA with 3TC or (-)-FTC selects for the K65R mutation and against the M184V mutation in SIV RT.
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