The relative replicative fitness of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) mutants selected by different protease inhibitors (PIs) in vivo was determined. Each mutant was compared to wild type (WT), NIA-3, in the absence of drugs by several methods, including clonal genotyping of cultures infected with two competing viral variants, kinetics of viral antigen production, and viral infectivity/virion particle ratios. A nelfinavir-selected protease D30N substitution substantially decreased replicative capacity relative to WT, while a saquinavir-selected L90M substitution moderately decreased fitness. The D30N mutant virus was also outcompeted by the L90M mutant in the absence of drugs. A major natural polymorphism of the HIV-1 protease, L63P, compensated well for the impairment of fitness caused by L90M but only slightly improved the fitness of D30N. Multiply substituted indinavir- selected mutants M46I/L63P/V82T/I84V and L10R/M46I/L63P/V82T/I84V were just as fit as WT. These results indicate that the mutations which are usually initially selected by nelfinavir and saquinavir, D30N and L90M, respectively, impair fitness. However, additional mutations may improve the replicative capacity of these and other drug-resistant mutants. Hypotheses based on the greater fitness impairment of the nelfinavir-selected D30N mutant are suggested to explain observations that prolonged responses to delayed salvage regimens, including alternate PIs, may be relatively common after nelfiuavir failure.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science