2016 Volume 39 Issue 3 Pages 450-454
Non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs) of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 reverse transcriptase (HIV-1 RT) have been developed for the treatment of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. HIV-1 RT binding to NNRTIs has been characterized by various biophysical techniques. However, these techniques are often hampered by the low water solubility of the inhibitors, such as the current promising diarylpyrimidine-based inhibitors rilpivirine and etravirine. Hence, a conventional and rapid method that requires small sample amounts is desirable for studying NNRTIs with low water solubility. Here we successfully applied a recently developed mass spectrometric technique under non-denaturing conditions to characterize the interactions between the heterodimeric HIV-1 RT enzyme and NNRTIs with different inhibitory activities. Our data demonstrate that mass spectrometry serves as a semi-quantitative indicator of NNRTI binding affinity for HIV-1 RT using low and small amounts of samples, offering a new high-throughput screening tool for identifying novel RT inhibitors as anti-HIV drugs.