Novel theoretically designed HIV-1 non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors derived from nevirapine

Jinfeng Liu, Xiao He, John Z.H. Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A common problem with non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs) of HIV-1 is the emergence of mutations in the HIV-1 RT, in particular Lys103 → Asn (K103N) and Tyr181 → Cys (Y181C), which lead to resistance to this entire class of inhibitors. In this study, we theoretically designed two new non-nucleoside HIV-1 RT inhibitors, Mnev-1 and Mnev-2, derived from nevirapine, in order to reduce the resistance caused by those HIV-1 RT mutations. The binding modes of Mnev-1 and Mnev-2 with the wild-type HIV-1 RT and its mutants (K103N and Y181C) were suggested by molecular docking followed by 20-ns molecular dynamics (MD) simulations in explicit water of those binding complexes (HIV-1 RTs with the new inhibitors). A molecular mechanics/generalized Born surface area (MM/GBSA) calculation was carried out for multiple snapshots extracted from the MD trajectory to estimate the binding free energy. The results of the calculations show that each of the new inhibitors forms a stable hydrogen bond with His235 during the MD simulations, leading to tighter binding of the new inhibitors with their targets. In addition, the repulsive interaction with Cys181 in the Y181C–nevirapine complex is not present in the novel inhibitors. The binding affinities predicted using the MM/GBSA calculations indicate that the new inhibitors could be effective at bypassing the drug resistance of these HIV-1 RT mutants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2451
JournalJournal of Molecular Modeling
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2014


  • Drug resistance
  • HIV-1 reverse transcriptase
  • Hydrogen bonding
  • Molecular docking
  • Molecular dynamics simulation
  • Mutation
  • Nevirapine
  • Non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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