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Open AccessArticle

Decanoyl-Arg-Val-Lys-Arg-Chloromethylketone: An Antiviral Compound That Acts against Flaviviruses through the Inhibition of Furin-Mediated prM Cleavage

by Muhammad Imran 1,2,3,4, Muhammad Kashif Saleemi 4, Zheng Chen 1,2,3, Xugang Wang 1,2,3, Dengyuan Zhou 1,2,3, Yunchuan Li 1,2,3, Zikai Zhao 1,2,3, Bohan Zheng 1,2,3, Qiuyan Li 1,2,3, Shengbo Cao 1,2,3,* and Jing Ye 1,2,3,*
1
State Key Laboratory of Agricultural Microbiology, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, Hubei, China
2
Key Laboratory of Preventive Veterinary Medicine in Hubei Province, College of Veterinary Medicine, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, Hubei, China
3
The Cooperative Innovation Center for Sustainable Pig Production, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, Hubei, China
4
Department of Pathology, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad 38040, Pakistan
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Viruses 2019, 11(11), 1011; https://doi.org/10.3390/v11111011
Received: 19 September 2019 / Revised: 24 October 2019 / Accepted: 30 October 2019 / Published: 31 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antiviral Agents)
Flaviviruses, such as Zika virus (ZIKV), Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV), Dengue virus (DENV), and West Nile virus (WNV), are important arthropod-borne pathogens that present an immense global health problem. Their unpredictable disease severity, unusual clinical features, and severe neurological manifestations underscore an urgent need for antiviral interventions. Furin, a host proprotein convertase, is a key contender in processing flavivirus prM protein to M protein, turning the inert virus to an infectious particle. For this reason, the current study was planned to evaluate the antiviral activity of decanoyl-Arg-Val-Lys-Arg-chloromethylketone, a specific furin inhibitor, against flaviviruses, including ZIKV and JEV. Analysis of viral proteins revealed a significant increase in the prM/E index of ZIKV or JEV in dec-RVKR-cmk-treated Vero cells compared to DMSO-treated control cells, indicating dec-RVKR-cmk inhibits prM cleavage. Plaque assay, qRT-PCR, and immunofluorescence assay revealed a strong antiviral activity of dec-RVKR-cmk against ZIKV and JEV in terms of the reduction in virus progeny titer and in viral RNA and protein production in both mammalian cells and mosquito cells. Time-of-drug addition assay revealed that the maximum reduction of virus titer was observed in post-infection treatment. Furthermore, our results showed that dec-RVKR-cmk exerts its inhibitory action on the virus release and next round infectivity but not on viral RNA replication. Taken together, our study highlights an interesting antiviral activity of dec-RVKR-cmk against flaviviruses. View Full-Text
Keywords: flavivirus; Zika virus; Japanese encephalitis virus; furin inhibitor; precursor membrane protein flavivirus; Zika virus; Japanese encephalitis virus; furin inhibitor; precursor membrane protein
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Imran, M.; Saleemi, M.K.; Chen, Z.; Wang, X.; Zhou, D.; Li, Y.; Zhao, Z.; Zheng, B.; Li, Q.; Cao, S.; Ye, J. Decanoyl-Arg-Val-Lys-Arg-Chloromethylketone: An Antiviral Compound That Acts against Flaviviruses through the Inhibition of Furin-Mediated prM Cleavage. Viruses 2019, 11, 1011.

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