Proteochemometric modeling of the susceptibility of mutated variants of the HIV-1 virus to reverse transcriptase inhibitors

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Published: 2010-12-15

Formatted citation

Spjuth O. Proteochemometric modeling of the susceptibility of mutated variants of the HIV-1 virus to reverse transcriptase inhibitors.
PLoS One. 5, 12 (2010). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0014353


BACKGROUND: Reverse transcriptase is a major drug target in highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) against HIV, which typically comprises two nucleoside/nucleotide analog reverse transcriptase (RT) inhibitors (NRTIs) in combination with a non-nucleoside RT inhibitor or a protease inhibitor. Unfortunately, HIV is capable of escaping the therapy by mutating into drug-resistant variants. Computational models that correlate HIV drug susceptibilities to the virus genotype and to drug molecular properties might facilitate selection of improved combination treatment regimens. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We applied our earlier developed proteochemometric modeling technology to analyze HIV mutant susceptibility to the eight clinically approved NRTIs. The data set used covered 728 virus variants genotyped for 240 sequence residues of the DNA polymerase domain of the RT; 165 of these residues contained mutations; totally the data-set covered susceptibility data for 4,495 inhibitor-RT combinations. Inhibitors and RT sequences were represented numerically by 3D-structural and physicochemical property descriptors, respectively. The two sets of descriptors and their derived cross-terms were correlated to the susceptibility data by partial least-squares projections to latent structures. The model identified more than ten frequently occurring mutations, each conferring more than two-fold loss of susceptibility for one or several NRTIs. The most deleterious mutations were K65R, Q151M, M184V/I, and T215Y/F, each of them decreasing susceptibility to most of the NRTIs. The predictive ability of the model was estimated by cross-validation and by external predictions for new HIV variants; both procedures showed very high correlation between the predicted and actual susceptibility values (Q2=0.89 and Q2ext=0.86). The model is available at as a free web service for the prediction of the susceptibility to any of the clinically used NRTIs for any HIV-1 mutant variant. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results give directions how to develop approaches for selection of genome-based optimum combination therapy for patients harboring mutated HIV variants.