Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 29760125
Link to DOI – e00126-1810.1128/AAC.00126-18
Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 2018 07; 62(7):
Although members of the Flaviviridae display high incidence, morbidity, and mortality rates, the development of specific antiviral drugs for each virus is unlikely. Cyclophilins, a family of host peptidyl-prolyl cis-trans isomerases (PPIases), play a pivotal role in the life cycles of many viruses and therefore represent an attractive target for broad-spectrum antiviral development. We report here the pangenotypic anti-hepatitis C virus (HCV) activity of a small-molecule cyclophilin inhibitor (SMCypI). Mechanistic and modeling studies revealed that the SMCypI bound to cyclophilin A in competition with cyclosporine (CsA), inhibited its PPIase activity, and disrupted the CypA-nonstructural protein 5A (NS5A) interaction. Resistance selection showed that the lead SMCypI hardly selected amino acid substitutions conferring low-level or no resistance in vitro Interestingly, the SMCypI selected D320E and Y321H substitutions, located in domain II of the NS5A protein. These substitutions were previously associated with low-level resistance to cyclophilin inhibitors such as alisporivir. Finally, the SMCypI inhibited the replication of other members of the Flaviviridae family with higher 50% effective concentrations (EC50s) than for HCV. Thus, because of its chemical plasticity and simplicity of synthesis, our new family of SMCypIs represents a promising new class of drugs with the potential for broad-spectrum anti-Flaviviridae activity as well as an invaluable tool to explore the role of cyclophilins in viral life cycles.