OBJECTIVE: To augment the affinity of AnkGAG1D4 scaffold towards its CA target, through computational predictions and experimental designs.
METHOD: Three dimensional structure of the binary complex formed by AnkGAG1D4 docked to the CA was used as a model for van der Waals (vdW) binding energy calculation. The results generated a simple guideline to select the amino acids for modifications. Following the predictions, modified AnkGAG1D4 proteins were produced and further evaluated for their CA-binding activity, using ELISA-modified method and bio-layer interferometry (BLI).
RESULTS: Tyrosine at position 56 (Y56) in AnkGAG1D4 was experimentally identified as the most critical residue for CA binding. Rational substitutions of this residue diminished the binding affinity. However, vdW calculation preconized to substitute serine for tyrosine at position 45. Remarkably, the affinity for the viral CA was significantly enhanced in AnkGAG1D4-S45Y mutant, with no alteration of the target specificity.
CONCLUSIONS: The S-to-Y mutation at position 45, based on the prediction of interacting amino acids and on vdW binding energy calculation, resulted in a significant enhancement of the affinity of AnkGAG1D4 ankyrin for its CA target. AnkGAG1D4-S45Y mutant represented the starting point for further construction of variants with even higher affinity towards the viral CA, and higher therapeutic potential in the future.
METHODS AND FINDINGS: We reviewed all GenBank submissions of HIV-1 reverse transcriptase sequences with or without protease and identified 287 studies published between March 1, 2000, and December 31, 2013, with more than 25 recently or chronically infected ARV-naïve individuals. These studies comprised 50,870 individuals from 111 countries. Each set of study sequences was analyzed for phylogenetic clustering and the presence of 93 surveillance drug-resistance mutations (SDRMs). The median overall TDR prevalence in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), south/southeast Asia (SSEA), upper-income Asian countries, Latin America/Caribbean, Europe, and North America was 2.8%, 2.9%, 5.6%, 7.6%, 9.4%, and 11.5%, respectively. In SSA, there was a yearly 1.09-fold (95% CI: 1.05-1.14) increase in odds of TDR since national ARV scale-up attributable to an increase in non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) resistance. The odds of NNRTI-associated TDR also increased in Latin America/Caribbean (odds ratio [OR] = 1.16; 95% CI: 1.06-1.25), North America (OR = 1.19; 95% CI: 1.12-1.26), Europe (OR = 1.07; 95% CI: 1.01-1.13), and upper-income Asian countries (OR = 1.33; 95% CI: 1.12-1.55). In SSEA, there was no significant change in the odds of TDR since national ARV scale-up (OR = 0.97; 95% CI: 0.92-1.02). An analysis limited to sequences with mixtures at less than 0.5% of their nucleotide positions—a proxy for recent infection—yielded trends comparable to those obtained using the complete dataset. Four NNRTI SDRMs—K101E, K103N, Y181C, and G190A—accounted for >80% of NNRTI-associated TDR in all regions and subtypes. Sixteen nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI) SDRMs accounted for >69% of NRTI-associated TDR in all regions and subtypes. In SSA and SSEA, 89% of NNRTI SDRMs were associated with high-level resistance to nevirapine or efavirenz, whereas only 27% of NRTI SDRMs were associated with high-level resistance to zidovudine, lamivudine, tenofovir, or abacavir. Of 763 viruses with TDR in SSA and SSEA, 725 (95%) were genetically dissimilar; 38 (5%) formed 19 sequence pairs. Inherent limitations of this study are that some cohorts may not represent the broader regional population and that studies were heterogeneous with respect to duration of infection prior to sampling.
CONCLUSIONS: Most TDR strains in SSA and SSEA arose independently, suggesting that ARV regimens with a high genetic barrier to resistance combined with improved patient adherence may mitigate TDR increases by reducing the generation of new ARV-resistant strains. A small number of NNRTI-resistance mutations were responsible for most cases of high-level resistance, suggesting that inexpensive point-mutation assays to detect these mutations may be useful for pre-therapy screening in regions with high levels of TDR. In the context of a public health approach to ARV therapy, a reliable point-of-care genotypic resistance test could identify which patients should receive standard first-line therapy and which should receive a protease-inhibitor-containing regimen.
METHODS: Patients testing HBs antigen (Ag) or HCV antibody (Ab) positive within enrollment into TAHOD were considered HBV or HCV co-infected. Factors associated with HBV and/or HCV co-infection were assessed by logistic regression models. Factors associated with post-ART HIV immunological response (CD4 change after six months) and virological response (HIV RNA <400 copies/ml after 12 months) were also determined. Survival was assessed by the Kaplan-Meier method and log rank test.
RESULTS: A total of 7,455 subjects were recruited by December 2012. Of patients tested, 591/5656 (10.4%) were HBsAg positive, 794/5215 (15.2%) were HCVAb positive, and 88/4966 (1.8%) were positive for both markers. In multivariate analysis, HCV co-infection, age, route of HIV infection, baseline CD4 count, baseline HIV RNA, and HIV-1 subtype were associated with immunological recovery. Age, route of HIV infection, baseline CD4 count, baseline HIV RNA, ART regimen, prior ART and HIV-1 subtype, but not HBV or HCV co-infection, affected HIV RNA suppression. Risk factors affecting mortality included HCV co-infection, age, CDC stage, baseline CD4 count, baseline HIV RNA and prior mono/dual ART. Shortest survival was seen in subjects who were both HBV- and HCV-positive.
CONCLUSION: In this Asian cohort of HIV-infected patients, HCV co-infection, but not HBV co-infection, was associated with lower CD4 cell recovery after ART and increased mortality.
DESIGN: Prospective studies of HIV-infected individuals in Europe and the US included in the HIV-CAUSAL Collaboration.
METHODS: Antiretroviral therapy-naive and AIDS-free individuals were followed from the time they started an NRTI, efavirenz or nevirapine, classified as following one or both types of regimens at baseline, and censored when they started an ineligible drug or at 6 months if their regimen was not yet complete. We estimated the 'intention-to-treat' effect for nevirapine versus efavirenz regimens on clinical, immunologic, and virologic outcomes. Our models included baseline covariates and adjusted for potential bias introduced by censoring via inverse probability weighting.
RESULTS: A total of 15 336 individuals initiated an efavirenz regimen (274 deaths, 774 AIDS-defining illnesses) and 8129 individuals initiated a nevirapine regimen (203 deaths, 441 AIDS-defining illnesses). The intention-to-treat hazard ratios [95% confidence interval (CI)] for nevirapine versus efavirenz regimens were 1.59 (1.27, 1.98) for death and 1.28 (1.09, 1.50) for AIDS-defining illness. Individuals on nevirapine regimens experienced a smaller 12-month increase in CD4 cell count by 11.49 cells/μl and were 52% more likely to have virologic failure at 12 months as those on efavirenz regimens.
CONCLUSIONS: Our intention-to-treat estimates are consistent with a lower mortality, a lower incidence of AIDS-defining illness, a larger 12-month increase in CD4 cell count, and a smaller risk of virologic failure at 12 months for efavirenz compared with nevirapine.