Secondary mutations M36I and A71V in the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 protease can provide an advantage for the emergence of the primary mutation D30N

Biochemistry. 2003 Dec 30;42(51):15029-35. doi: 10.1021/bi035701y.


Development of resistance mutations in enzymatic targets of human immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV-1) hampers the ability to provide adequate therapy. Of special interest is the effect mutations outside the active site of HIV-1 protease have on inhibitor binding and virus viability. We engineered protease mutants containing the active site mutation D30N alone and with the nonactive site polymorphisms M36I and/or A71V. We determined the K(i) values for the inhibitors nelfinavir, ritonavir, indinavir, KNI272, and AG1776 as well as the catalytic efficiency of the mutants. Single and double mutation combinations exhibited a decrease in catalytic efficiency, while the triple mutant displayed catalytic efficiency greater than that of the wild type. Variants containing M36I or A71V alone did not display a significant change in binding affinities to the inhibitors tested. The variant containing mutation D30N displayed a 2-6-fold increase in K(i) for all inhibitors tested, with nelfinavir showing the greatest increase. The double mutants containing a combination of mutations D30N, M36I, and A71V displayed -0.5-fold to +6-fold changes in the K(i) of all inhibitors tested, with ritonavir and nelfinavir most affected. Only the triple mutant showed a significant increase (>10-fold) in K(i) for inhibitor nelfinavir, ritonavir, or AG-1776 displaying 22-, 19-, or 15-fold increases, respectively. Our study shows that the M36I and A71V mutations provide a greater level of inhibitor cross-resistance combined with active site mutation D30N. M36I and A71V, when present as natural polymorphisms, could aid the virus in developing active site mutations to escape inhibitor binding while maintaining catalytic efficiency.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Alanine / genetics*
  • Anti-HIV Agents / chemistry
  • Anti-HIV Agents / metabolism
  • Asparagine / genetics*
  • Aspartic Acid / genetics*
  • Binding Sites / genetics
  • Drug Resistance, Viral / genetics
  • HIV Protease / chemistry
  • HIV Protease / genetics*
  • HIV Protease / metabolism
  • HIV Protease Inhibitors / chemistry
  • HIV Protease Inhibitors / metabolism
  • HIV-1 / enzymology
  • HIV-1 / genetics
  • HIV-1 / growth & development
  • Humans
  • Indinavir / metabolism
  • Isoleucine / genetics*
  • Kinetics
  • Methionine / genetics*
  • Mutagenesis, Site-Directed*
  • Nelfinavir / metabolism
  • Ritonavir / metabolism
  • Valine / genetics*


  • Anti-HIV Agents
  • HIV Protease Inhibitors
  • Isoleucine
  • Aspartic Acid
  • Indinavir
  • Asparagine
  • Methionine
  • HIV Protease
  • Valine
  • Nelfinavir
  • Ritonavir
  • Alanine