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Acta Biochim Pol. 2002;49(3):597-614.

NTPase/helicase of Flaviviridae: inhibitors and inhibition of the enzyme.

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  • 1Abteilung für Virologie, Bernhard-Nocht-Institut für Tropenmedizin, Hamburg, Germany.


RNA nucleoside triphosphatases (NTPase)/helicases represent a large family of proteins that are ubiquitously distributed over a wide range of organisms. The enzymes play essential role in cell development and differentiation, and some of them are involved in transcription and replication of viral single-stranded RNA genomes. The enzymatic activities of a NTPase/helicase were also detected in the carboxyl-terminal non-structural protein 3 (NS3) of members of the Flaviviridae family. The crucial role of the enzyme for the virus life cycle was demonstrated in knock out experiments and by using NTPase/helicase specific inhibitors. This makes the enzyme an attractive target for development of Flaviviridae-specific antiviral therapies. This review will summarize our knowledge about the function and structure of the enzyme, update the spectrum of inhibitors of the enzymatic activities of the NTPase/helicase and describe the different mechanisms by which the compounds act. Some of the compounds reviewed herein could show potential utility as antiviral agents against Flaviviridae viruses.

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