Methods: Each 24-well plate of Vero cells infected with all four DENV serotypes, singly, was subjected to treatments with various doses of AR-12. Following 48 h of incubation, inhibitory efficacies of AR-12 against the different DENV serotypes were evaluated by conducting a virus yield reduction assay whereby DENV RNA copy numbers present in the collected supernatant were quantified using qRT-PCR. The underlying mechanism(s) possibly involved in the compound's inhibitory activities were then investigated by performing molecular docking on several potential target human and DENV protein domains.
Results: The qRT-PCR data demonstrated that DENV-3 was most potently inhibited by AR-12, followed by DENV-1, DENV-2 and DENV-4. Our molecular docking findings suggested that AR-12 possibly exerted its inhibitory effects by interfering with the chaperone activities of heat shock proteins.
Conclusions: These results serve as vital information for the design of future studies involving in vitro mechanistic studies and animal models, aiming to decipher the potential of AR-12 as a potential therapeutic option for DENV infection.