Narasin, a novel antiviral compound that blocks dengue virus protein expression.Antivir Ther. 2011; 16(8):1203-18.AT
Dengue virus (DENV) is a mosquito-borne virus that causes a spectrum of human diseases ranging from mild dengue fever to dengue haemorrhagic fever and dengue shock syndrome in severe cases. Currently, there is no effective antiviral therapy or vaccine against DENV infection.
In order to identify potential antiviral agents against DENV, we performed high-throughput cell-based screening on a highly purified natural products library. Among the screening hits, selected compounds which displayed 50-75% inhibition against DENV2 were validated using secondary assays. Time-of-addition studies, dose-dependent assays, real time quantitative reverse transcriptase (RT)-PCR, Western blot and ultrastructural imaging were conducted in an attempt to elucidate the potential antiviral mechanisms of narasin.
In this study, an ionophore, narasin was selected for detailed analysis due to its strong inhibitory profile against DENV infection with minimal cytotoxicity (50% cytotoxic concentration >1,000 μM). A dose-dependent study revealed narasin to have an 50% inhibitory concentration of less than 1 μM against all four serotypes of DENV. Time-of-addition studies of narasin-treated, DENV2-infected Huh-7 cells suggested narasin to be involved in inhibiting the post-entry stages of viral replication during DENV infection. Proteomic and ultrastructural analyses revealed the antiviral mechanism of narasin as likely to be associated with the disruption of viral protein synthesis. In addition, quantitative RT-PCR studies showed no differences in viral RNA levels between narasin-treated and control DENV2-infected cells.
Narasin was identified and characterized as a novel agent that inhibits DENV replication in vitro through non-cytotoxic mechanisms, thus indicating its potential to be further developed as a therapeutic anti-DENV agent.