Targeting membrane-bound viral RNA synthesis reveals potent inhibition of diverse coronaviruses including the middle East respiratory syndrome virus.

Lundin, Anna; Dijkman, Ronald; Bergström, Tomas; Kann, Nina; Adamiak, Beata; Hannoun, Charles; Kindler, Eveline; Jónsdóttir, Hulda R; Muth, Doreen; Kint, Joeri; Forlenza, Maria; Müller, Marcel A; Drosten, Christian; Thiel, Volker Earl; Trybala, Edward (2014). Targeting membrane-bound viral RNA synthesis reveals potent inhibition of diverse coronaviruses including the middle East respiratory syndrome virus. PLoS pathogens, 10(5), e1004166. Public Library of Science 10.1371/journal.ppat.1004166

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Coronaviruses raise serious concerns as emerging zoonotic viruses without specific antiviral drugs available. Here we screened a collection of 16671 diverse compounds for anti-human coronavirus 229E activity and identified an inhibitor, designated K22, that specifically targets membrane-bound coronaviral RNA synthesis. K22 exerts most potent antiviral activity after virus entry during an early step of the viral life cycle. Specifically, the formation of double membrane vesicles (DMVs), a hallmark of coronavirus replication, was greatly impaired upon K22 treatment accompanied by near-complete inhibition of viral RNA synthesis. K22-resistant viruses contained substitutions in non-structural protein 6 (nsp6), a membrane-spanning integral component of the viral replication complex implicated in DMV formation, corroborating that K22 targets membrane bound viral RNA synthesis. Besides K22 resistance, the nsp6 mutants induced a reduced number of DMVs, displayed decreased specific infectivity, while RNA synthesis was not affected. Importantly, K22 inhibits a broad range of coronaviruses, including Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), and efficient inhibition was achieved in primary human epithelia cultures representing the entry port of human coronavirus infection. Collectively, this study proposes an evolutionary conserved step in the life cycle of positive-stranded RNA viruses, the recruitment of cellular membranes for viral replication, as vulnerable and, most importantly, druggable target for antiviral intervention. We expect this mode of action to serve as a paradigm for the development of potent antiviral drugs to combat many animal and human virus infections.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

05 Veterinary Medicine > Research Foci > Host-Pathogen Interaction
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathobiology (DIP) > Institute of Virology and Immunology
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathobiology (DIP)

UniBE Contributor:

Dijkman, Ronald and Thiel, Volker Earl

Subjects:

600 Technology > 630 Agriculture
500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology

ISSN:

1553-7366

Publisher:

Public Library of Science

Language:

English

Submitter:

Barbara Gautschi-Steffen

Date Deposited:

09 Apr 2015 11:56

Last Modified:

09 Apr 2015 11:56

Publisher DOI:

10.1371/journal.ppat.1004166

PubMed ID:

24874215

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.66680

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/66680

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