HIV-1 Gag mutations alone are sufficient to reduce darunavir susceptibility during virological failure to boosted PI therapy

HIV-1 Gag mutations alone are sufficient to reduce darunavir susceptibility during virological failure to boosted PI therapy

Data de publicació online: 17/06/2020 Data de publicació en paper: 17 Juny 2020 Revista: Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy

Abstract:

Background
Virological failure (VF) to boosted PIs with a high genetic barrier is not usually linked to the development of resistance-associated mutations in the protease gene.

Methods
From a cohort of 520 HIV-infected subjects treated with lopinavir/ritonavir or darunavir/ritonavir monotherapy, we retrospectively identified nine patients with VF. We sequenced the HIV-1 Gag-protease region and generated clonal virus from plasma samples. We characterized phenotypically clonal variants in terms of replicative capacity and susceptibility to PIs. Also, we used VESPA to identify signature mutations and 3D molecular modelling information to detect conformational changes in the Gag region.

Results
All subjects analysed harboured Gag-associated polymorphisms in the absence of resistance mutations in the protease gene. Most Gag changes occurred outside Gag cleavage sites. VESPA analyses identified K95R and R286K (P < 0.01) as signature mutations in Gag present at VF. In one out of four patients with clonal analysis available, we identified clonal variants with high replicative capacity and 8- to 13-fold reduction in darunavir susceptibility. These clonal variants harboured K95R, R286K and additional mutations in Gag. Low susceptibility to darunavir was dependent on the Gag sequence context. All other clonal variants analysed preserved drug susceptibility and virus replicative capacity.

Conclusions
Gag mutations may reduce darunavir susceptibility in the absence of protease mutations while preserving viral fitness. This effect is Gag-sequence context dependent and may occur during boosted PI failure.

Autors: Blanch-Lombarte O, Santos JR, Peña R, Jiménez-Moyano E, Clotet B, Paredes R, Prado JG

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