Oct 28, 2019

Suppression of Zika Virus Infection in the Brain by the Antiretroviral Drug Rilpivirine

Molecular Therapy : the Journal of the American Society of Gene Therapy
Ilker Kudret SariyerKamel Khalili


Zika virus (ZIKV) infection is associated with microcephaly in neonates and Guillain-Barré syndrome in adults. ZIKV produces a class of nonstructural (NS) regulatory proteins that play a critical role in viral transcription and replication, including NS5, which possesses RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) activity. Here we demonstrate that rilpivirine (RPV), a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) used in the treatment of HIV-1 infection, inhibits the enzymatic activity of NS5 and suppresses ZIKV infection and replication in primary human astrocytes. Similarly, other members of the NNRTI family, including etravirine and efavirenz, showed inhibitory effects on viral infection of brain cells. Site-directed mutagenesis identified 14 amino acid residues within the NS5 RdRp domain (AA265-903), which are important for the RPV interaction and the inhibition of NS5 polymerase activity. Administration of RPV to ZIKV-infected interferon-alpha/beta receptor (IFN-A/R) knockout mice improved the clinical outcome and prevented ZIKV-induced mortality. Histopathological examination of the brains from infected animals revealed that RPV reduced ZIKV RNA levels in the hippocampus, frontal cortex, thalamus, and cerebellum. Repurp...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Virus Diseases
SC 903
Interferon alpha-beta receptor
Prophylactic Treatment
Enzymatic Activity [MoA]
Brain Cell

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