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J Virol. 2002 Oct;76(19):10084-8.

Inhibition of herpes simplex virus replication by WAY-150138: assembly of capsids depleted of the portal and terminase proteins involved in DNA encapsidation.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Cancer Center, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, Virginia 22908, USA.


Studies were carried out to examine the mechanism of action of WAY-150138, a member of a novel group of thiourea compounds recently shown to inhibit replication of herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1). Previous studies have shown that the drug acts by preventing DNA encapsidation and that resistant mutants map to U(L)6, the gene encoding the protein subunit of the portal complex through which DNA enters the capsid. We tested the idea that WAY-150138 acts by preventing the incorporation of DNA-packaging proteins into capsids as they are assembled. Capsids were isolated from HSV-1-infected, drug-treated cells and examined by Western immunoblotting for the presence of two packaging proteins, the portal subunit (U(L)6) and a candidate terminase subunit (U(L)15). The results showed that both proteins were depleted in the capsids, suggesting that WAY-150138 antagonizes DNA encapsidation by depriving capsids of packaging proteins during the assembly process.

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