Identification and Characterization of a Novel Broad-Spectrum Virus Entry Inhibitor
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CitationChou, Yi-ying, Christian Cuevas, Margot Carocci, Sarah H. Stubbs, Minghe Ma, David K. Cureton, Luke Chao, et al. 2016. “Identification and Characterization of a Novel Broad-Spectrum Virus Entry Inhibitor.” Edited by S. López. Journal of Virology 90 (9): 4494–4510. https://doi.org/10.1128/jvi.00103-16.
AbstractVirus entry into cells is a multistep process that often requires the subversion of subcellular machineries. A more complete understanding of these steps is necessary to develop new antiviral strategies. While studying the potential role of the actin network and one of its master regulators, the small GTPase Cdc42, during Junin virus (JUNV) entry, we serendipitously uncovered the small molecule ZCL278, reported to inhibit Cdc42 function as an entry inhibitor for JUNV and for vesicular stomatitis virus, lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus, and dengue virus but not for the nonenveloped poliovirus. Although ZCL278 did not interfere with JUNV attachment to the cell surface or virus particle internalization into host cells, it prevented the release of JUNV ribonucleoprotein cores into the cytosol and decreased pH-mediated viral fusion with host membranes. We also identified SVG-A astroglial cell-derived cells to be highly permissive for JUNV infection and generated new cell lines expressing fluorescently tagged Rab5c or Rab7a or lacking Cdc42 using clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR)-caspase 9 (Cas9) gene-editing strategies. Aided by these tools, we uncovered that perturbations in the actin cytoskeleton or Cdc42 activity minimally affect JUNV entry, suggesting that the inhibitory effect of ZCL278 is not mediated by ZCL278 interfering with the activity of Cdc42. Instead, ZCL278 appears to redistribute viral particles from endosomal to lysosomal compartments. ZCL278 also inhibited JUNV replication in a mouse model, and no toxicity was detected. Together, our data suggest the unexpected antiviral activity of ZCL278 and highlight its potential for use in the development of valuable new tools to study the intracellular trafficking of pathogens.
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