Journal Article

Identification of hepatitis B virus rtS117F substitution as a compensatory mutation for rtM204I during lamivudine therapy

Chih-Lang Lin, Rong-Nan Chien, Ching-Chih Hu, Ming-Wei Lai and Chau-Ting Yeh

in Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy

Published on behalf of British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy

Volume 67, issue 1, pages 39-48
Published in print January 2012 | ISSN: 0305-7453
Published online October 2011 | e-ISSN: 1460-2091 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jac/dkr416
Identification of hepatitis B virus rtS117F substitution as a compensatory mutation for rtM204I during lamivudine therapy

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Objectives

The replication defect of hepatitis B virus (HBV) lamivudine-resistant mutants can be restored by the development of compensatory mutations. Such mutations have long been recognized for the rtM204V mutant, while little is known about any compensatory mutation specific to the rtM204I mutant. The aim of this study was to search for previously unrecognized compensatory mutations following development of lamivudine-resistant mutants.

Methods

Of 83 lamivudine-resistant patients, 49 and 34 patients harboured the rtM204I and rtM204V mutations, respectively. Serial serum samples obtained during the therapeutic course were submitted to sequence analysis. Site-directed mutagenesis experiments were performed to examine the functions of the identified associated mutations.

Results

Of the 49 patients carrying the rtM204I mutation, 5 subsequently developed an rtS117F substitution during the follow-up, whereas 4 harboured an rtN124D substitution prior to the development of the rtM204I mutation. Emergence of the rtS117F mutation was associated with an increase in hepatitis activity, whereas prior existence of the rtN124D mutation was associated with decompensated liver function upon development of the rtM204I mutation. Site-directed mutagenesis experiments showed that the rtS117F mutation by itself did not confer lamivudine resistance but it compensated for replication deficiency of the rtM204I mutant in HepG2 and Mahlavu cells. Additionally, virion and hepatitis B surface antigen secretion of the rtS117F mutant was significantly impaired.

Conclusions

The rtS117F substitution served as a compensatory mutation for rtM204I. Emergence of the rtS117F mutation in lamivudine-resistant patients carrying rtM204I was associated with increased hepatitis activities. Prior existence of the rtN124D substitution was associated with liver decompensation upon development of the rtM204I mutation.

Keywords: lamivudine resistance; site-directed mutagenesis; replication deficiency; virion secretion

Journal Article.  4750 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Oncology ; Critical Care

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