Global resurgence of dengue virus infections in many of the tropical and subtropical countries is a major concern. Therefore, there is an urgent need for the development of successful drugs that are both economical and offer a long-lasting protection. The viral NS2B-NS3 serine protease (NS2B-NS3pro) is a promising target for the development of drug-like inhibitors, which are not available at the moment. In this study, we report retrocyclin-1 (RC-1) production in E. coli as a recombinant peptide to test against dengue NS2B-NS3pro.
Screening of viral inhibitors through induction of cytopathic effects (CPE) by conventional method has been applied for various viruses including Chikungunya virus (CHIKV), a significant arbovirus. However, it does not provide the information about cytopathic effect from the beginning and throughout the course of virus replication. Conventionally, most of the approaches are constructed on laborious end-point assays which are not capable for detecting minute and rapid changes in cellular morphology. Therefore, we developed a label-free and dynamical method for monitoring the cellular features that comprises cell attachment, proliferation, and viral cytopathogenicity, known as the xCELLigence real-time cell analysis (RTCA). In this chapter, we provide a RTCA protocol for quantitative analysis of CHIKV replication using an infected Vero cell line treated with ribavirin as an in vitro model.
This study investigates the effects of 2-phenyl-1-benzopyran-4-one (flavone) on DENV-2 infectivity in Vero cells. Virus adsorption and attachment and intracellular virus replication were investigated using a foci forming unit assay (FFUA) and quantitative RT-PCR, respectively. Addition of flavone (100 μg/mL) significantly increased the number of DENV-2 foci by 35.66% ± 1.52 and 49.66% ± 2.51 when added during and after virus adsorption to the Vero cells, respectively. The average foci size after 4 days of infection increased by 33% ± 2.11 and 89% ± 2.13. The DENV-2 specific RNA copy number in the flavone-treated infected cells increased by 6.41- and 23.1-fold when compared to the mock-treated infected cells. Flavone (100 μg/mL) did not promote or inhibit Vero cell proliferation. The CC₅₀ value of flavone against Vero cells was 446 µg/mL. These results suggest that flavone might enhance dengue virus replication by acting antagonistically towards flavonoids known to inhibit dengue virus replication.
Doxycycline is an antibiotic derived from tetracycline that possesses antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory activities. Antiviral activity of doxycycline against dengue virus has been reported previously; however, its anti-dengue properties need further investigation. This study was conducted to determine the potential activity of doxycycline against dengue virus replication in vitro. Doxycycline inhibited the dengue virus serine protease (DENV2 NS2B-NS3pro) with an IC50 value of 52.3 ± 6.2 μM at 37 °C (normal human temperature) and 26.7 ± 5.3 μM at 40 °C (high fever temperature). The antiviral activity of doxycycline was first tested at different concentrations against DENV2 using a plaque-formation assay. The virus titter decreased significantly after applying doxycycline at levels lower than its 50 % cytotoxic concentration (CC50, 100 μM), showing concentration-dependent inhibition with a 50 % effective concentration (EC50) of approximately 50 μM. Doxycycline significantly inhibited viral entry and post-infection replication of the four dengue serotypes, with serotype-specific inhibition (high activity against DENV2 and DENV4 compared to DENV1 and DENV3). Collectively, these findings underline the need for further experimental and clinical studies on doxycycline, utilizing its anti-dengue and anti-inflammatory activities to attenuate the clinical symptoms of dengue virus infection.
Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) represents a reemerging global threat to human health. Recent outbreaks across Asia, Europe, Africa, and the Caribbean have prompted renewed scientific interest in this mosquito-borne alphavirus. There are currently no vaccines against CHIKV, and treatment has been limited to nonspecific antiviral agents, with suboptimal outcomes. Herein, we have identified β-d-N4-hydroxycytidine (NHC) as a novel inhibitor of CHIKV. NHC behaves as a pyrimidine ribonucleoside and selectively inhibits CHIKV replication in cell culture.
Japanese encephalitis (JE), a mosquito-borne viral disease, is endemic to the entire east and southeast Asia, and some other parts of the world. Currently, there is no effective therapeutic available for JE; therefore, finding the effective antiviral agent against JEV replication is crucial. In the present study, the in vitro antiviral activity of baicalein and quercetin, two purportedly antiviral bioflavonoids, was evaluated against Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) replication in Vero cells. Anti-JEV activities of these compounds were examined on different stages of JEV replication cycle. The effects of the compounds on virus replication were determined by foci forming unit reduction assay (FFURA) and quantitative RT-PCR. Baicalein showed potent antiviral activity with IC(50) = 14.28 µg/mL when it was introduced to the Vero cells after adsorption of JEV. Quercetin exhibited weak anti-JEV effects with IC(50) = 212.1 µg/mL when the JEV infected cells were treated with the compound after virus adsorption. However, baicalein exhibited significant effect against JEV adsorption with IC(50) = 7.27 µg/mL while quercetin did not show any anti-adsorption activity. Baicalein also exhibited direct extracellular virucidal activity on JEV with IC(50) = 3.44 µg/mL. However, results of quantitative RT-PCR experiments confirmed the findings from FFURA. This study demonstrated that baicalein should be considered as an appropriate candidate for further investigations, such as the study of molecular and cellular mechanism(s) of action and in vivo evaluation for the development of an effective antiviral compound against Japanese encephalitis virus.
Dengue diseases have an economic as well as social burden worldwide. In this study, the antiviral activity of protegrin-1 (PG-1, RGGRLCYCRRRFCVCVGR) peptide towards dengue NS2B-NS3pro and viral replication in Rhesus monkey kidney (MK2) cells was investigated. The peptide PG-1 was synthesized by solid-phase peptide synthesis, and disulphide bonds formation followed by peptide purification was confirmed by LC-MS and RPHPLC. Dengue NS2B-NS3pro was produced as a single-chain recombinant protein in E. coli. The NS2B-NS3pro assay was carried out by measuring the florescence emission of catalyzed substrate. Real-time PCR was used to evaluate the inhibition potential of PG-1 towards dengue serotype-2 (DENV-2) replication in MK2 cells. The results showed that PG-1 inhibited dengue NS2B-NS3pro at IC(50) of 11.7 μM. The graded concentrations of PG-1 at nontoxic range were able to reduce viral replication significantly (P < 0.001) at 24, 48, and 72 hrs after viral infection. However, the percentage of inhibition was significantly (P < 0.01) higher at 24 hrs compared to 48 and 72 hrs. These data show promising therapeutic potential of PG-1 against dengue infection, hence it warrants further analysis and improvement of the peptide features as a prospective starting point for consideration in designing attractive dengue virus inhibitors.
Emerging of drug resistant influenza A virus (IAV) has been a big challenge for anti-IAV therapy. In this study, we describe a relatively easy and safe cell-based screening system for anti-IAV replication inhibitors using a non-replicative strain of IAV. A nickel (II) complex of polyhydroxybenzaldehyde N4-thiosemicarbazone (NiPT5) was recently found to exhibit anti-inflammatory activity in vivo and in vitro. NiPT5 impedes the signaling cascades that lead to the activation of NF-κB in response to different stimuli, such as LPS and TNFα. Using our cell-based screening system, we report that pretreating cells with NiPT5 protects cells from influenza A virus (IAV) and vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) infection. Furthermore, NiPT5 inhibits replication of IAV by inhibiting transcription and translation of vRNAs of IAV. Additionally, NiPT5 reduces IAV-induced type I interferon response and cytokines production. Moreover, NiPT5 prevents activation of NF-κB, and IRF3 in response to IAV infection. These results demonstrate that NiPT5 is a potent antiviral agent that inhibits the early phase of IAV replication.
A series of novel 3-(substituted phenyl)-6,7-dimethoxy-3a,4-dihydro-3H-indeno[1,2-c]isoxazole analogues were synthesized by the reaction of 5,6-dimethoxy-2-[(E)-1-phenylmethylidene]-1-indanone with hydroxylamine hydrochloride. The title compounds were tested for their in vitro anti-HIV activity. Among the compounds, (4g) showed a promising anti-HIV activity in the in vitro testing against IIIB and ROD strains. The IC50 of both IIIB and ROD were found to be 9.05 microM and > 125 microM, respectively.
Acyclic nucleosides have been of considerable interest since the approval of aciclovir by the FDA to be used as an antiviral agent in the 1990s. The acyclic moieties and the bases used in the experiment were either available commercially or synthesized using literature methods. Vorbruggen coupling method was utilized involving reaction of persilylated heterocyclic bases with the appropriate acyclic moiety in the presence of a Lewis acid catalyst. A series of novel 6-azapyrimidine acyclic oxosugar nucleosides was successfully synthesized with a promising yield (more than 50%). An efficient method of protection and deprotection was also investigated.
Avian influenza viruses (AIV), the causative agent of avian flu or bird flu, cause widespread morbidity and mortality in poultry. The symptoms of the disease range from mild flu like symptoms to death. These viruses possess two important surface glycoproteins, namely hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) against which neutralizing antibodies are produced. Due to the highly mutative nature of the genes which encode these proteins, the viruses often confer resistance to the current anti-viral drugs making the prevention and treatment of infection challenging. In our laboratory, we have recently identified a novel anti-viral peptide (P1) against the AIV H9N2 from a phage displayed peptide library. This peptide inhibits the replication of the virus in ovo and in vitro by its binding to the HA glycoprotein. In the current study, we demonstrate that the peptide inhibits the virus replication by preventing the attachment to the host cell but it does not have any effect on the viral fusion. The reduction in the viral nucleoprotein (NP) expression inside the host cell has also been observed during the peptide (P1) treatment. This novel peptide may have the potential to be developed as a therapeutic agent for the treatment and control of avian influenza virus H9N2 infections.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is a life-threatening disease caused by the SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV). The development of new antiviral agents for SARS-CoV is an important issue. We tried to find potential resource from Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for development of new drugs against SARS-CoV.
Baicalin, a flavonoid derived from Scutellaria baicalensis, is the main metabolite of baicalein released following administration in different animal models and human. We previously reported the antiviral activity of baicalein against dengue virus (DENV). Here, we examined the anti-DENV properties of baicalin in vitro, and described the inhibitory potentials of baicalin at different steps of DENV-2 (NGC strain) replication. Our in vitro antiviral experiments showed that baicalin inhibited virus replication at IC50 = 13.5 ± 0.08 μg/ml with SI = 21.5 following virus internalization by Vero cells. Baicalin exhibited virucidal activity against DENV-2 extracellular particles at IC50 = 8.74 ± 0.08 μg/ml and showed anti-adsorption effect with IC50 = 18.07 ± 0.2 μg/ml. Our findings showed that baicalin as the main metabolite of baicalein exerting in vitro anti-DENV activity. Further investigations on baicalein and baicalin to deduce its antiviral therapeutic effects are warranted.
Enterovirus 71 (EV-71) infections are generally manifested as mild hand, foot and mouth disease, but have been reported to cause severe neurological complications with high mortality rates. Treatment options remain limited due to the lack of antivirals. Octaguanidinium-conjugated morpholino oligomers (vivo-MOs) are single-stranded DNA-like antisense agents that can readily penetrate cells and reduce gene expression by steric blocking of complementary RNA sequences. In this study, inhibitory effects of three vivo-MOs that are complementary to the EV-71 internal ribosome entry site (IRES) and the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRP) were tested in RD cells. Vivo-MO-1 and vivo-MO-2 targeting the EV-71 IRES showed significant viral plaque reductions of 2.5 and 3.5 log10PFU/ml, respectively. Both vivo-MOs reduced viral RNA copies and viral capsid expression in RD cells in a dose-dependent manner. In contrast, vivo-MO-3 targeting the EV-71 RdRP exhibited less antiviral activity. Both vivo-MO-1 and 2 remained active when administered either 4h before or within 6h after EV-71 infection. Vivo-MO-2 exhibited antiviral activities against poliovirus (PV) and coxsackievirus A16 but vivo-MO-1 showed no antiviral activities against PV. Both the IRES-targeting vivo-MO-1 and vivo-MO-2 inhibit EV-71 RNA translation. Resistant mutants arose after serial passages in the presence of vivo-MO-1, but none were isolated against vivo-MO-2. A single T to C substitution at nucleotide position 533 was sufficient to confer resistance to vivo-MO-1. Our findings suggest that IRES-targeting vivo-MOs are good antiviral candidates for treating early EV-71 infection, and vivo-MO-2 is a more favorable candidate with broader antiviral spectrum against enteroviruses and are refractory to antiviral resistance.
Enterovirus 71 (EV-71) is the main etiological agent of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD). Recent EV-71 outbreaks in Asia-Pacific were not limited to mild HFMD, but were associated with severe neurological complications such as aseptic meningitis and brainstem encephalitis, which may lead to cardiopulmonary failure and death. The absence of licensed therapeutics for clinical use has intensified research into anti-EV-71 development. This review highlights the potential antiviral agents targeting EV-71 attachment, entry, uncoating, translation, polyprotein processing, virus-induced formation of membranous RNA replication complexes, and RNA-dependent RNA polymerase. The strategies for antiviral development include target-based synthetic compounds, anti-rhinovirus and poliovirus libraries screening, and natural compound libraries screening. Growing knowledge of the EV-71 life cycle will lead to successful development of antivirals. The continued effort to develop antiviral agents for treatment is crucial in the absence of a vaccine. The coupling of antivirals with an effective vaccine will accelerate eradication of the disease.
Scutellaria baicalensis (S. baicalensis) is one of the traditional Chinese medicinal herbs that have been shown to possess many health benefits. In the present study, we evaluated the in vitro antiviral activity of aqueous extract of the roots of S. baicalensis against all the four dengue virus (DENV) serotypes.
Duabanga grandiflora or known in Malaysia as Berembang Bukit, Megawasih, or Pedada Bukit, is a native plant of the Southeast Asian countries. In this study, the anti-viral properties of D. grandiflora were investigated.
This study focuses on the antiviral activity of selected flavonoids against the Chikungunya virus (CHIKV), a mosquito-transmitted virus that can cause incapacitating arthritis in infected individuals. Based on the results of screening on Vero cells, the tested compounds were evaluated further with various assays, including cytotoxicity assay, virus yield assay by quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR), virus RNA replication assay with a CHIKV replicon cell line, Western blotting, and quantitative immunofluorescence assay. Baicalein, fisetin, and quercetagetin displayed potent inhibition of CHIKV infection, with 50% inhibitory concentrations [IC50] of 1.891 μg/ml (6.997 μM), 8.444 μg/ml (29.5 μM), and 13.85 μg/ml (43.52 μM), respectively, and with minimal cytotoxicity. The time-of-addition studies and various antiviral assays demonstrated that baicalein and quercetagetin mainly inhibited CHIKV binding to the Vero cells and displayed potent activity against extracellular CHIKV particles. The qRT-PCR, immunofluorescence assay, and Western blot analyses indicated that each of these flavonoids affects CHIKV RNA production and viral protein expression. These data provide the first evidence of the intracellular anti-CHIKV activity of baicalein, fisetin, and quercetagetin.
Influenza virus is estimated to cause 3-5 million severe complications and about 250-500 thousand deaths per year. Different kinds of anti-influenza virus drugs have been developed. However, the emergence of drug resistant strains has presented a big challenge for efficient antiviral therapy. Indole derivatives have been shown to exhibit both antiviral and anti-inflammatory activities. In this study, we adopted a cell-based system to screen for potential anti-IAV agents. Four indole derivatives (named 525A, 526A, 527A and 528A) were subjected to the antiviral screening, of which 526A was selected for further investigation. We reported that pre-treating cells with 526A protects cells from IAV infection. Furthermore, 526A inhibits IAV replication by inhibiting the expression of IAV genes. Interestingly, 526A suppresses the activation of IRF3 and STAT1 in host cells and thus represses the production of type I interferon response and cytokines in IAV-infected cells. Importantly, 526A also partially blocks the activation of RIG-I pathway. Taken together, these results suggest that 526A may be a potential anti-influenza A virus agent.