Cytomegalovirus UL97 kinase catalytic domain mutations that confer multidrug resistance

Sunwen Chou, Ronald J. Ercolani, Gail Marousek, Terry L. Bowlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Human cytomegalovirus UL97 kinase mutations that commonly confer ganciclovir resistance cluster in different parts of the gene than those conferring resistance to maribavir, an experimental UL97 kinase inhibitor. The drug resistance, growth, and autophosphorylation phenotypes of several unusual UL97 mutations in the kinase catalytic domain were characterized. Mutations V466G and P521L, described in clinical specimens from ganciclovir-treated subjects, conferred a UL97 kinase knockout phenotype with no autophosphorylation, a severe growth defect, and high-level ganciclovir, cyclopropavir, and maribavir resistance, similar to mutations at the catalytic lysine residue K355. Mutations F342S and V356G, observed after propagation under cyclopropavir in vitro, showed much less growth attenuation and moderate- to high-level resistance to all three drugs while maintaining UL97 autophosphorylation competence and normal cytopathic effect in cell culture, a novel phenotype. F342S is located in the ATP-binding P-loop and is homologous to a c-Abl kinase mutation conferring resistance to imatinib. UL97 mutants with relatively preserved growth fitness and multidrug resistance are of greater concern in antiviral therapy than the severely growth-impaired UL97 knockout mutants. Current diagnostic genotyping assays are unlikely to detect F342S and V356G, and the frequency of their appearance in clinical specimens remains undefined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3375-3379
Number of pages5
JournalAntimicrobial agents and chemotherapy
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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