Mechanism of resistance to GS-9148 conferred by the Q151L mutation in HIV-1 reverse transcriptase

Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2011 Jun;55(6):2662-9. doi: 10.1128/AAC.01738-10. Epub 2011 Mar 14.


GS-9148 is an investigational phosphonate nucleotide analogue inhibitor of reverse transcriptase (RT) (NtRTI) of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). This compound is an adenosine derivative with a 2',3'-dihydrofuran ring structure that contains a 2'-fluoro group. The resistance profile of GS-9148 is unique in that the inhibitor can select for the very rare Q151L mutation in HIV-1 RT as a pathway to resistance. Q151L is not stably selected by any of the approved nucleoside or nucleotide analogues; however, it may be a transient intermediate that leads to the related Q151M mutation, which confers resistance to multiple compounds that belong to this class of RT inhibitors. Here, we employed pre-steady-state kinetics to study the impact of Q151L on substrate and inhibitor binding and the catalytic rate of incorporation. Most importantly, we found that the Q151L mutant is unable to incorporate GS-9148 under single-turnover conditions. Interference experiments showed that the presence of GS-9148-diphosphate, i.e., the active form of the inhibitor, does not reduce the efficiency of incorporation for the natural counterpart. We therefore conclude that Q151L severely compromises binding of GS-9148-diphosphate to RT. This effect is highly specific, since we also demonstrate that another NtRTI, tenofovir, is incorporated with selectivity similar to that seen with wild-type RT. Incorporation assays with other related compounds and models based on the RT/DNA/GS-9148-diphosphate crystal structure suggest that the 2'-fluoro group of GS-9148 may cause steric hindrance with the side chain of the Q151L mutant.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Drug Resistance, Viral*
  • Guanosine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Guanosine / pharmacology
  • HIV Reverse Transcriptase / genetics*
  • HIV-1 / drug effects*
  • HIV-1 / enzymology
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation*
  • Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Structure-Activity Relationship


  • Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors
  • Guanosine
  • GS-9148
  • reverse transcriptase, Human immunodeficiency virus 1
  • HIV Reverse Transcriptase