HIV-1 reverse transcriptase and antiviral drug resistance. Part 2

Curr Opin Virol. 2013 Apr;3(2):119-28. doi: 10.1016/j.coviro.2013.03.014. Epub 2013 Apr 19.


Structures of RT and its complexes combined with biochemical and clinical data help in illuminating the molecular mechanisms of different drug-resistance mutations. The NRTI drugs that are used in combinations have different primary mutation sites. RT mutations that confer resistance to one drug can be hypersensitive to another RT drug. Structure of an RT-DNA-nevirapine complex revealed how NNRTI binding forbids RT from forming a polymerase competent complex. Collective knowledge about various mechanisms of drug resistance by RT has broader implications for understanding and targeting drug resistance in general. In Part 1, we discussed the role of RT in developing HIV-1 drug resistance, structural and functional states of RT, and the nucleoside/nucleotide analog (NRTI) and non-nucleoside (NNRTI) drugs used in treating HIV-1 infections. In this part, we discuss structural understanding of various mechanisms by which RT confers antiviral drug resistance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-HIV Agents / chemistry
  • Anti-HIV Agents / metabolism
  • Anti-HIV Agents / pharmacology*
  • DNA, Viral / chemistry
  • DNA, Viral / metabolism
  • Drug Resistance, Viral*
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy
  • HIV Infections / virology
  • HIV Reverse Transcriptase / chemistry*
  • HIV Reverse Transcriptase / genetics
  • HIV Reverse Transcriptase / metabolism*
  • HIV-1 / drug effects*
  • HIV-1 / enzymology*
  • Humans
  • Models, Molecular
  • Mutation, Missense
  • Nevirapine / chemistry
  • Nevirapine / metabolism
  • Nevirapine / pharmacology
  • Protein Conformation
  • Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors / chemistry
  • Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors / metabolism
  • Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors / pharmacology*


  • Anti-HIV Agents
  • DNA, Viral
  • Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors
  • Nevirapine
  • reverse transcriptase, Human immunodeficiency virus 1
  • HIV Reverse Transcriptase