Coronavirus Susceptibility to the Antiviral Remdesivir (GS-5734) Is Mediated by the Viral Polymerase and the Proofreading Exoribonuclease

MBio
Maria L AgostiniMark R Denison

Abstract

Emerging coronaviruses (CoVs) cause severe disease in humans, but no approved therapeutics are available. The CoV nsp14 exoribonuclease (ExoN) has complicated development of antiviral nucleosides due to its proofreading activity. We recently reported that the nucleoside analogue GS-5734 (remdesivir) potently inhibits human and zoonotic CoVs in vitro and in a severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) mouse model. However, studies with GS-5734 have not reported resistance associated with GS-5734, nor do we understand the action of GS-5734 in wild-type (WT) proofreading CoVs. Here, we show that GS-5734 inhibits murine hepatitis virus (MHV) with similar 50% effective concentration values (EC50) as SARS-CoV and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). Passage of WT MHV in the presence of the GS-5734 parent nucleoside selected two mutations in the nsp12 polymerase at residues conserved across all CoVs that conferred up to 5.6-fold resistance to GS-5734, as determined by EC50 The resistant viruses were unable to compete with WT in direct coinfection passage in the absence of GS-5734. Introduction of the MHV resistance mutations into SARS-CoV resulted in the same in vitro resistance phenotype and attenuat...Continue Reading

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Methods Mentioned

BETA
PCR
amplicon sequencing

Software Mentioned

GenHunter
GraphPad Prism
MacVector
Pymol Molecular Graphics System

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