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Antivir Ther. 2010;15(8):1141-9. doi: 10.3851/IMP1694.

Reduction of herpes simplex virus type-2 replication in cell cultures and in rodent models with peptide-conjugated morpholino oligomers.

Author information

  • 1Department of Biomedical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Genital herpes, caused by herpes simplex virus type-2 (HSV-2), is a recurrent, lifelong disease affecting tens of millions of people in the USA alone. HSV-2 can be treated therapeutically with acyclovir (ACV) and its derivatives; however, no treatment can prevent HSV reactivation. Novel topical anti-HSV microbicides are much needed to reduce HSV-2 transmission and to treat primary or reactivated infections, especially for ACV-resistant strains. Peptide-conjugated phosphorodiamidate morpholino oligomers (PPMOs) are single-stranded DNA analogues that enter cells readily and can reduce target gene expression through steric blockage of complementary messenger RNA (mRNA).

METHODS:

We investigated the antiviral activities of PPMOs targeted to the translation start-site regions of the mRNA for two HSV-2 immediate early genes, immediate early protein (ICP)0 and ICP27, and two early genes, unique long gene (UL)30 and UL39.

RESULTS:

In cell cultures, PPMOs targeting ICP0 or ICP27 mRNA were found to be highly effective against two strains of HSV-2, one of which was ACV-resistant. In vivo, daily topical applications of up to 1 mM ICP27 PPMO caused no gross or microscopic damage to the genital tract of uninfected BALB/c mice or cotton rats. Cotton rats receiving topical application of ICP27 PPMO 24 h after HSV-2 inoculation showed a reduction in genital lesions and a 37.5% reduction in mortality at 14 days post-infection. Mice receiving topical application of 100 μM of an ICP27 and ICP0 PPMO combination before HSV-2 inoculation had no detectable viral replication in the genital tract at 3-5 days post-infection.

CONCLUSIONS:

These results demonstrate that topically applied PPMOs hold promise as candidate antiviral microbicides against HSV-2 genital infection.

PMID:
21149921
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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