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Raltegravir: molecular basis of its mechanism of action

Author(s): Mouscadet Jean-François | Tchertanov Luba

Journal: European Journal of Medical Research
ISSN 2047-783X

Volume: 14;
Issue: Suppl 3;
Start page: 5;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Keywords: HIV-1 integrase | raltegravir | isentress | resistance | molecular modeling

Abstract Integration of the HIV-1 viral DNA generated by reverse transcription of the RNA genome into the host cell chromosomes is a key step of viral replication, catalyzed by the viral integrase. In October 2007, the first integrase inhibitor, raltegravir, was approved for clinical use under the name of Isentress™. The results of the various clinical trials that have evaluated raltegravir have been very encouraging with regard to the immunological and virological efficacy and tolerance. However, as observed for other anti-retrovirals, specific resistance mutations have been identified in patients failing to respond to treatment with raltegravir. Although knowledge of the integrase structural biology remains fragmentary, the structures and modeling data available might provide relevant clues on the origin of the emergence of these resistance mutations. In this review, we describe the mechanism of action of this drug and the main data relating to its use in vivo, together with recent structural data important to our understanding of the origin of viral resistance.
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