In the absence of approved therapeutics, Zika virus (ZIKV)'s recent prolific outbreaks in the Americas, together with impacts on unborn fetuses of infected mothers, make it a pressing human health concern worldwide. Although a key player in viral replication in the infected host cell cytoplasm, ZIKV non-structural protein 5 (NS5) appears to contribute integrally to pathogenesis by localising in the host cell nucleus, in similar fashion to NS5 from Dengue virus (DENV). We show here for the first time that ZIKV NS5 is recognized with high nanomolar affinity by the host cell importin α/β1 heterodimer, and that this interaction can be blocked by the novel DENV NS5 targeting inhibitor N-(4-hydroxyphenyl) retinamide (4-HPR). Importantly, we show that 4-HPR has potent anti-ZIKV activity at low μM concentrations. With an established safety profile for human use, 4-HPR represents an exciting possibility as an anti-ZIKV agent.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications|
|Publication status||Published - 2 Dec 2017|
- Nuclear transport inhibitors
- Viral infection
- Zika virus