Decomposing the energetic impact of drug-resistant mutations: the example of HIV-1 protease-DRV binding

Yufeng Cai, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Celia A. Schiffer, University of Massachusetts Medical School


HIV-1 protease is a major drug target for AIDS therapy. With the appearance of drug-resistant HIV-1 protease variants, understanding the mechanism of drug resistance becomes critical for rational drug design. Computational methods can provide more details about inhibitor-protease binding than crystallography and isothermal titration calorimetry. The latest FDA-approved HIV-1 protease inhibitor is Darunavir (DRV). Herein, each DRV atom is evaluated by free energy component analysis for its contribution to the binding affinity with wild-type protease and ACT, a drug-resistant variant. This information can contribute to the rational design of new HIV-1 protease inhibitors.