TMC125 is a potent new investigational nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) that is active against human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) with resistance to currently licensed NNRTIs. Sequential passage experiments with both wild-type virus and NNRTI-resistant virus were performed to identify mutations selected by TMC125 in vitro. In addition to "classic" selection experiments at a low multiplicity of infection (MOI) with increasing concentrations of inhibitors, experiments at a high MOI with fixed concentrations of inhibitors were performed to ensure a standardized comparison between TMC125 and current NNRTIs. Both low- and high-MOI experiments demonstrated that the development of resistance to TMC125 required multiple mutations which frequently conferred cross-resistance to efavirenz and nevirapine. In high-MOI experiments, 1 muM TMC125 completely inhibited the breakthrough of resistant virus from wild-type and NNRTI-resistant HIV-1, in contrast to efavirenz and nevirapine. Furthermore, breakthrough of virus from site-directed mutant (SDM) SDM-K103N/Y181C occurred at the same time or later with TMC125 as breakthrough from wild-type HIV-1 with efavirenz or nevirapine. The selection experiments identified mutations selected by TMC125 that included known NNRTI-associated mutations L100I, Y181C, G190E, M230L, and Y318F and the novel mutations V179I and V179F. Testing the antiviral activity of TMC125 against a panel of SDMs indicated that the impact of these individual mutations on resistance was highly dependent upon the presence and identity of coexisting mutations. These results demonstrate that TMC125 has a unique profile of activity against NNRTI-resistant virus and possesses a high genetic barrier to the development of resistance in vitro.