Emtricitabine is a nucleoside analogue which inhibits the reverse nucleoside transcriptase enzyme. Structurally this antiviral agent is similar to Lamivudine. This agent is effective at targeting HIV and HBV viruses since these viruses replicate in a reverse transcriptase manner. Studies indicate that the structure of Emtricitabine, specifically the unnatural β-L structural configuration produce greater antiviral effects in vitro on HIV and HBV than other antiviral agents. To activate Emtricitabine it needs to undergo multistep intracellular phosphorylation by various cellular kinases. These studies suggest that Emtricitabine competitively inhibits HIV-1 RT (HIV-1 reverse transcriptase) and can cause termination of DNA chain elongation in the virus via incorporation into the viral genome.
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