Two crystal structures have been solved for separate complexes of alkenyldiarylmethane (ADAM) nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTI) 3 and 4 with HIV-1 reverse transcriptase (RT). The structures reveal inhibitor binding is exclusively hydrophobic in nature and the shape of the inhibitor-bound NNRTI binding pocket is unique among other reported inhibitor-RT crystal structures. Primarily, ADAMs 3 and 4 protrude from a large gap in the back side of the binding pocket, placing portions of the inhibitors unusually close to the polymerase active site and allowing 3 to form a weak hydrogen bond with Lys223. The lack of additional stabilizing interactions, beyond the observed hydrophobic surface contacts, between 4 and RT is quite perplexing given the extreme potency of the compound (IC(50) </= 1 nM). ADAM 4 was designed to be hydrolytically stable in blood plasma, and an investigation of its hydrolysis in rat plasma demonstrated it has a significantly prolonged half-life in comparison to ADAM lead compounds 1 and 2.