Twenty-two new alkenyldiarylmethanes (ADAMs) were synthesized and evaluated for inhibition of HIV-1 replication. The most potent compound proved to be methyl 3',3"-dichloro-4',4"-dimethoxy-5', 5"-bis(methoxycarbonyl)-6,6-diphenyl-5-hexenoate (ADAM II), which displayed an EC50 of 13 nM for inhibition of the cytopathic effect of HIV-1RF in CEM-SS cells. ADAM II inhibited HIV-1 reverse transcriptase with an IC50 of 0.3 microM but was inactive as an inhibitor of HIV-1 attachment/fusion to cells, protease, integrase, and the nucleocapsid protein. Molecular target-based and cell-based assays revealed that ADAM II acted biologically as a nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI). ADAM II inhibited replication of a wide variety of laboratory, clinical, and clade-representative isolates of HIV-1 in T cell lines and cultures of peripheral blood mononuclear cells or monocyte/macrophages. Mutations that conferred resistance to ADAM II clustered at residues 101, 103, 108, 139, 179, 181, and 188, which line the nonnucleoside binding pocket of HIV-1 reverse transcriptase. However, HIV-1 NL4-3 strain expressing a mutation at residue 100 of reverse transcriptase, and an AZT-resistant virus, displayed increased sensitivity to ADAM II. Thus, ADAM II could serve as an adjunct therapy to AZT and NNRTIs that select for L100I resistance mutations.