[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In a previous study, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) was cultured in the presence of bananin, an effective adamantane-related molecule with antiviral activity. In the present study, we show that all bananin-resistant variants exhibit mutations in helicase and membrane protein, although no evidence of bananin interference on their mutual interaction has been found. A structural analysis on protein sequence mutations found in SARS-CoV bananin-resistant variants was performed. The S259/L mutation of SARS-CoV helicase is always found in all the identified bananin-resistant variants, suggesting a primary role of this mutation site for bananin activity. From a structural analysis of SARS-CoV predicted helicase structure, S259 is found in a hydrophilic surface pocket, far from the enzyme active sites and outside the helicase dimer interface. The S/L substitution causes a pocket volume reduction that weakens the interaction between bananin and SARS-CoV mutated helicase, suggesting a possible mechanism for bananin antiviral activity.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: SARS-associated coronavirus was identified as the etiological agent of severe acute respiratory syndrome and a large virus pool was identified in wild animals. Virus generates drug resistance through fast mutagenesis and escapes antiviral treatment. siRNAs targeting different genes would be an alternative for overcoming drug resistance. Here, we report effective siRNAs targeting structural genes (i.e., spike, envelope, membrane, and nucleocapsid) and their antiviral kinetics. We also showed the synergistic effects of two siRNAs targeting different functional genes at a very low dose. Our findings may pave a way to develop cost effective siRNA agents for antiviral therapy in the future.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bananins are a class of antiviral compounds with a unique structural signature incorporating a trioxa-adamantane moiety covalently bound to a pyridoxal derivative. Six members of this class of compounds: bananin, iodobananin, vanillinbananin, ansabananin, eubananin, and adeninobananin were synthesized and tested as inhibitors of the SARS Coronavirus (SCV) helicase. Bananin, iodobananin, vanillinbananin, and eubananin were effective inhibitors of the ATPase activity of the SCV helicase with IC50 values in the range 0.5-3 microM. A similar trend, though at slightly higher inhibitor concentrations, was observed for inhibition of the helicase activities, using a FRET-based fluorescent assay. In a cell culture system of SCV, bananin exhibited an EC50 of less than 10 microM and a CC50 of over 300 microM. Kinetics of inhibition are consistent with bananin inhibiting an intracellular process or processes involved in SCV replication.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A novel severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV) has been identified as the aetiological agent of SARS. We previously isolated and characterized SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-like viruses from human and animals, respectively, suggesting that SARS could be transmitted from wild/farmed animals to humans. Comparison of the viral genomes indicated that sequence variation between animal and human isolates existed mainly in the spike (S) gene. We hypothesized that these variations may underlie a change of binding specificity of the S protein to the host cells, permitting viral transmission from animals to humans. Here we report that four 20-mer synthetic peptides (S protein fragments), designed to span these sequence variation hotspots, exhibited significant antiviral activities in a cell line. SARS-CoV infectivity was reduced over 10 000-fold through pre-incubation with two of these peptides, while it was completely inhibited in the presence of three peptides. Molecular modelling of the SARS-CoV peplomer suggests that three of these antiviral peptides map to the interfaces between the three monomers of the trimeric peplomer rather than the heptad repeat region from which short peptides are known to inhibit viral entry. Our results revealed novel regions in the spike protein that can be targeted to inhibit viral infection. The peptides identified in this study could be further developed into antiviral drugs.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To identify and characterize the siRNA duplexes that are effective for inhibition of SARS-CoV infection and replication in the non-human primate cells. This in vitro study will serve as the foundation for development of novel anti-SARS therapeutics.
48 siRNA sequences were designed for targeting regions throughout entire SARS-CoV genome RNA including open-reading frames for several key proteins. Chemically synthesized siRNA duplexes were transfected into foetal rhesus kidney (FRhK-4) cells prior to or after SARS-CoV infection. The inhibitory effects of the siRNAs were evaluated for reductions of intracellular viral genome copy number and viral titres in the cell culture medium measured by Q-RT-PCR and CPE-based titration, respectively. Four siRNA duplexes were found to achieve potent inhibition of SARS-CoV infection and replication. A prolonged prophylactic effect of siRNA duplexes with up to 90% inhibition that lasted for at least 72 h was observed. Combination of active siRNA duplexes targeting different regions of the viral genome resulted in therapeutic activity of up to 80% inhibition.
Chemically synthesized siRNA duplexes targeting SARS-CoV genomic RNA are potent agents for inhibition of the viral infection and replication. The location effects of siRNAs were revealed at both genome sequence and open-reading frame levels. The rapid development of siRNA-based SARS-CoV inhibitors marked a novel approach for combating newly emergent infectious diseases.