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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Dec 19, 1995; 92(26): 12466–12469.

Inhibition of a plant virus infection by analogs of melittin.


An approach that enables identification of specific synthetic peptide inhibitors of plant viral infection is reported. Synthetic analogs of melittin that have sequence and structural similarities to an essential domain of tobacco mosaic virus coat protein were found to possess highly specific antiviral activity. This approach involves modification of residues located at positions analogous to those that are critical for virus assembly. The degree of inhibition found correlates well with sequence similarities between the viral capsid protein and the melittin analogs studied as well as with the induced conformational changes that result upon interaction of the peptides and ribonucleic acid.

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