G-quadruplexes (G4s) are nucleic acids secondary structures, epigenetic regulators in cells and viruses. In herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1)-infected cells, G4s are massively present during viral replication. We here aimed at investigating the possibility to target the HSV-1 G4s by a core extended naphtalene diimide (c-exNDI) G4 ligand. Biophysical and biomolecular analysis proved that c-exNDI stabilized the HSV-1 G4s in a concentration dependent manner. In MS competition assays, c-exNDI preferentially recognized HSV-1 G4s over cellular telomeric G4s, the most represented G4s within cells; other less abundant cellular G4s were also recognized. Treatment of HSV-1 infected cells with c-exNDI at low nanomolar concentrations induced significant virus inhibition with no cytotoxicity. The mechanism of action was ascribed to G4-mediated inhibition of viral DNA replication, with consequent impairment of viral genes transcription. Our data suggest that the observed potent antiviral activity and low cytotoxicity mainly depend on a combination of c-exNDI affinity for HSV-1 G4s and their massive presence during infection. HSV-1 G4s may thus represent new effective antiviral targets: the fact that no current antiherpetic drug exploits them and their presence at the viral genome, responsible for both active and latent HSV infections, makes them particularly attracting.

A core extended naphtalene diimide G-quadruplex ligand potently inhibits herpes simplex virus 1 replication

Callegaro, Sara;Perrone, Rosalba;Scalabrin, Matteo;Palù, Giorgio;Richter, Sara N.
2017

Abstract

G-quadruplexes (G4s) are nucleic acids secondary structures, epigenetic regulators in cells and viruses. In herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1)-infected cells, G4s are massively present during viral replication. We here aimed at investigating the possibility to target the HSV-1 G4s by a core extended naphtalene diimide (c-exNDI) G4 ligand. Biophysical and biomolecular analysis proved that c-exNDI stabilized the HSV-1 G4s in a concentration dependent manner. In MS competition assays, c-exNDI preferentially recognized HSV-1 G4s over cellular telomeric G4s, the most represented G4s within cells; other less abundant cellular G4s were also recognized. Treatment of HSV-1 infected cells with c-exNDI at low nanomolar concentrations induced significant virus inhibition with no cytotoxicity. The mechanism of action was ascribed to G4-mediated inhibition of viral DNA replication, with consequent impairment of viral genes transcription. Our data suggest that the observed potent antiviral activity and low cytotoxicity mainly depend on a combination of c-exNDI affinity for HSV-1 G4s and their massive presence during infection. HSV-1 G4s may thus represent new effective antiviral targets: the fact that no current antiherpetic drug exploits them and their presence at the viral genome, responsible for both active and latent HSV infections, makes them particularly attracting.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11577/3252647
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