Crystal structures for HIV-1 reverse transcriptase in complexes with three pyridinone derivatives: a new class of non-nucleoside inhibitors effective against a broad range of drug-resistant strains

J Med Chem. 2005 Dec 1;48(24):7582-91. doi: 10.1021/jm0500323.


In the treatment of AIDS, the efficacy of all drugs, including non-nucleoside inhibitors (NNRTIs) of HIV-1 reverse transcriptase (RT), has been limited by the rapid appearance of drug-resistant viruses. Lys103Asn, Tyr181Cys, and Tyr188Leu are some of the most common RT mutations that cause resistance to NNRTIs in the clinic. We report X-ray crystal structures for RT complexed with three different pyridinone derivatives, R157208, R165481, and R221239, at 2.95, 2.9, and 2.43 A resolution, respectively. All three ligands exhibit nanomolar or subnanomolar inhibitory activity against wild-type RT, but varying activities against drug-resistant mutants. R165481 and R221239 differ from most NNRTIs in that binding does not involve significant contacts with Tyr181. These compounds strongly inhibit wild-type HIV-1 RT and drug-resistant variants, including Tyr181Cys and Lys103Asn RT. These properties result in part from an iodine atom on the pyridinone ring of both inhibitors that interacts with the main-chain carbonyl oxygen of Tyr188. An acrylonitrile substituent on R165481 substantially improves the activity of the compound against wild-type RT (and several mutants) and provides a way to generate novel inhibitors that could interact with conserved elements of HIV-1 RT at the polymerase catalytic site. In R221239, there is a flexible linker to a furan ring that permits interactions with Val106, Phe227, and Pro236. These contacts appear to enhance the inhibitory activity of R221239 against the HIV-1 strains that carry the Val106Ala, Tyr188Leu, and Phe227Cys mutations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Crystallography, X-Ray
  • Drug Resistance, Viral*
  • HIV Reverse Transcriptase / chemistry*
  • HIV-1 / enzymology*
  • HIV-1 / genetics
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Structure
  • Mutation
  • Pyridones / chemistry*
  • Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors / chemistry*


  • Pyridones
  • R 157208
  • R 165481
  • R 221239
  • Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors
  • HIV Reverse Transcriptase