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Abstract

To determine whether adefovir is active against lamivudine-resistant hepatitis B virus (HBV), the inhibition constants of adefovir diphosphate and lamivudine triphosphate for wild-type and mutant human HBV DNA polymerases, which contain amino acid substitutions associated with lamivudine resistance, were compared. Recombinant wild-type and mutant human HBV DNA polymerases were expressed and substantially purified using a baculovirus expression system and immunoaffinity chromatography. HBV DNA polymerase mutants M552I, M552V, and L528M/M552V showed resistance to lamivudine triphosphate with inhibition constants (Ki) increased by 8.0-fold, 19.6-fold, and 25.2-fold compared with that of wild-type HBV DNA polymerase. However, these mutants remained sensitive to adefovir diphosphate with the inhibition constants increasing by 1.3-fold and 2.2-fold or decreasing by 0.79-fold. The L528M single mutation, identified in patients with increasing HBV DNA levels during therapy with famciclovir, also remained sensitive to adefovir diphosphate with the inhibition constant increased by only 2.3-fold.