Next Article in Journal
Mutations in the Non-Structural Protein-Coding Sequence of Protoparvovirus H-1PV Enhance the Fitness of the Virus and Show Key Benefits Regarding the Transduction Efficiency of Derived Vectors
Next Article in Special Issue
Zika Virus in the Male Reproductive Tract
Previous Article in Journal
Applying Unique Molecular Identifiers in Next Generation Sequencing Reveals a Constrained Viral Quasispecies Evolution under Cross-Reactive Antibody Pressure Targeting Long Alpha Helix of Hemagglutinin
Article Menu
Issue 4 (April) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Viruses 2018, 10(4), 149;

Inhibition of Zika Virus Replication by Silvestrol

Department of Virology, Paul-Ehrlich-Institut, 63225 Langen, Germany
Pharmazeutische Chemie, Philipps-Universität Marburg, 35037 Marburg, Germany
German Center for Infection Research (DZIF), 38124 Braunschweig, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 January 2018 / Revised: 22 March 2018 / Accepted: 24 March 2018 / Published: 27 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Advances on Zika Virus Research)
Full-Text   |   PDF [10575 KB, uploaded 3 May 2018]   |  


The Zika virus (ZIKV) outbreak in 2016 in South America with specific pathogenic outcomes highlighted the need for new antiviral substances with broad-spectrum activities to react quickly to unexpected outbreaks of emerging viral pathogens. Very recently, the natural compound silvestrol isolated from the plant Aglaia foveolata was found to have very potent antiviral effects against the (−)-strand RNA-virus Ebola virus as well as against Corona- and Picornaviruses with a (+)-strand RNA-genome. This antiviral activity is based on the impaired translation of viral RNA by the inhibition of the DEAD-box RNA helicase eukaryotic initiation factor-4A (eIF4A) which is required to unwind structured 5´-untranslated regions (5′-UTRs) of several proto-oncogenes and thereby facilitate their translation. Zika virus is a flavivirus with a positive-stranded RNA-genome harboring a 5′-capped UTR with distinct secondary structure elements. Therefore, we investigated the effects of silvestrol on ZIKV replication in A549 cells and primary human hepatocytes. Two different ZIKV strains were used. In both infected A549 cells and primary human hepatocytes, silvestrol has the potential to exert a significant inhibition of ZIKV replication for both analyzed strains, even though the ancestor strain from Uganda is less sensitive to silvestrol. Our data might contribute to identify host factors involved in the control of ZIKV infection and help to develop antiviral concepts that can be used to treat a variety of viral infections without the risk of resistances because a host protein is targeted. View Full-Text
Keywords: Ziks virus; silvestrol; antiviral; eIF4A; hepatocytes Ziks virus; silvestrol; antiviral; eIF4A; hepatocytes

Graphical abstract

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Supplementary material


Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Elgner, F.; Sabino, C.; Basic, M.; Ploen, D.; Grünweller, A.; Hildt, E. Inhibition of Zika Virus Replication by Silvestrol. Viruses 2018, 10, 149.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Viruses EISSN 1999-4915 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top