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Reverse transcriptase inhibitor
Reverse transcriptase inhibitors (RTIs) are a class of antiretroviral drug used to treat HIV infection. RTIs inhibit activity of reverse transcriptase, a viral DNA polymerase enzyme that HIV needs to reproduce.
Additional recommended knowledge
When HIV infects a cell, reverse transcriptase copies the viral single stranded RNA genome into a double-stranded viral DNA. The viral DNA is then integrated into the host chromosomal DNA which then allows host cellular processes, such as transcription and translation to reproduce the virus. RTIs block reverse transcriptase's enzymatic function and prevent completion of synthesis of the double-stranded viral DNA thus preventing HIV from multiplying.
RTIs come in three forms:
The mode of action of NRTIs and NtRTIs is essentially the same; they are analogues of the naturally occurring deoxynucleotides needed to synthesize the viral DNA and they compete with the natural deoxynucleotides for incorporation into the growing viral DNA chain. However, unlike the natural deoxynucleotides substrates, NRTIs and NtRTIs lack a 3'-hydroxyl group on the deoxyribose moiety. As a result, following incorporation of an NRTI or an NtRTI, the next incoming deoxynucleotide cannot form the next 5'-3' phosphodiester bond needed to extend the DNA chain. Thus, when an NRTI or NtRTI is incorporated, viral DNA synthesis is halted, a process known as chain termination. All NRTIs and NtRTIs are classified as competitive substrate inhibitors.
In contrast, NNRTIs have a completely different mode of action. NNRTIs block reverse transcriptase by binding at a different site on the enzyme, compared to NRTIs and NtRTIs. NNRTIs are not incorporated into the viral DNA but instead inhibit the movement of protein domains of reverse transcriptase that are needed to carry out the process of DNA synthesis. NNRTIs are therefore classified as non-competitive inhibitors of reverse transcriptase.
Nucleoside analog reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NARTIs or NRTIs)
Nucleoside analog reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NARTIs or NRTIs) compose the first class of antiretroviral drugs developed. In order to be incorporated into the viral DNA, NRTIs must be activated in the cell by the addition of three phosphate groups to their deoxyribose moiety, to form NRTI triphosphates. This phosphorylation step is carried out by cellular kinase enzymes.
Nucleotide analog reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NtARTIs or NtRTIs)
Normally, nucleoside analogs are converted into nucleotide analogs by the body. Taking nucleotide analog reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NtARTIs or NtRTIs) directly allows conversion steps to be skipped, causing less toxicity.
Non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs)
Non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs) are the third class of antiretroviral drugs that were developed. In all cases, patents remain in force until beyond 2010. This class of drugs was first described at the Rega Institute for Medical Research (Belgium)
Research have designed molecules which dually inhibit both reverse transcriptase (RT) and integrase (IN). These drugs have been termed "Portmanteau inhibitors".
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Reverse_transcriptase_inhibitor". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|