Sensitivity of arabinosyladenine-resistant mutants of herpes simplex virus to other antiviral drugs and mapping of drug hypersensitivity mutations to the DNA polymerase locus

J Virol. 1985 Feb;53(2):477-88. doi: 10.1128/JVI.53.2.477-488.1985.


Seven herpes simplex virus mutants which have been previously shown to be resistant to arabinosyladenine were examined for their sensitivities to four types of antiviral drugs. These drugs were a pyrophosphate analog, four nucleoside analogs altered in their sugar moieties, two nucleoside analogs altered in their base moieties, and one altered in both. The seven mutants exhibited five distinct phenotypes based on their sensitivities to the drugs relative to wild-type strain KOS. All mutants exhibited resistance to acyclovir and arabinosylthymine, as well as marginal resistance to iododeoxyuridine, whereas all but one exhibited resistance to phosphonoformic acid. The mutants exhibited either sensitivity or hypersensitivity to other drugs tested--2'-nor-deoxyguanosine, 5-methyl-2'-fluoroarauracil, 5-iodo-2'-fluoroarauracil, and bromovinyldeoxyuridine--some of which differed only slightly from drugs to which the mutants were resistant. These results suggest ways to detect and treat arabinosyladenine-resistant isolates in the clinic. Antiviral hypersensitivity was a common phenotype. Mutations conferring hypersensitivity to 2'-nor-deoxyguanosine in mutant PAAr5 and to bromovinyldeoxyridine in mutant tsD9 were mapped to nonoverlapping regions of 1.1 and 0.8 kilobase pairs, respectively, within the herpes simplex virus DNA polymerase locus. Thus, viral DNA polymerase mediates sensitivity to these two drugs. However, we could not confirm reports of mutations in the DNA polymerase locus conferring resistance to these two drugs. All of the mutants exhibited altered sensitivity to two or more types of drugs, suggesting that single mutations affect recognition of the base, sugar, and triphosphate moieties of nucleoside triphosphates by viral polymerase.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acyclovir / analogs & derivatives
  • Acyclovir / pharmacology
  • Antiviral Agents / pharmacology*
  • Arabinofuranosyluracil / analogs & derivatives
  • Arabinofuranosyluracil / pharmacology
  • Arabinonucleosides / pharmacology
  • Bromodeoxyuridine / analogs & derivatives
  • Bromodeoxyuridine / pharmacology
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase / genetics*
  • Drug Resistance, Microbial
  • Foscarnet
  • Ganciclovir
  • Genes, Viral*
  • Idoxuridine / pharmacology
  • Mutation
  • Phosphonoacetic Acid / analogs & derivatives
  • Phosphonoacetic Acid / pharmacology
  • Simplexvirus / drug effects*
  • Simplexvirus / enzymology
  • Simplexvirus / genetics
  • Thymidine / analogs & derivatives
  • Thymidine / pharmacology
  • Vidarabine / pharmacology*


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Arabinonucleosides
  • brivudine
  • Arabinofuranosyluracil
  • Foscarnet
  • fialuridine
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase
  • Vidarabine
  • Bromodeoxyuridine
  • clevudine
  • Idoxuridine
  • Phosphonoacetic Acid
  • thymine arabinoside
  • Ganciclovir
  • Thymidine
  • Acyclovir