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J Gen Virol. 2000 Nov;81(Pt 11):2697-705.

Entry of influenza viruses into cells is inhibited by a highly specific protein kinase C inhibitor.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology & Immunology, C5141 Veterinary Medical Center, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.


Following binding to cell surface sialic acid, entry of influenza viruses into cells is mediated by endocytosis. Productive entry of influenza virus requires the low-pH environment of the late endosome for fusion and release of the virus into the cytoplasm and transport of the virus genome into the nucleus. We investigated novel mechanisms to inhibit influenza virus infection using highly specific inhibitors of protein kinase C. We found that one inhibitor, bisindolylmaleimide I, prevented replication of influenza A virus in a dose-dependent manner when added at the time of infection, but had little specific effect when added 2 h after infection had commenced. Virus yields dropped by more than 3 log units in the presence of micromolar levels of bisindolylmaleimide I. Influenza B virus replication was also inhibited by bisindolylmaleimide at micromolar concentrations. We carried out experiments to determine the point in infection that was blocked by bisindolylmaleimide I, and determined that entry of viral ribonucleoproteins (vRNPs) into the nucleus was prevented. Upon drug washout vRNP nuclear entry resumed, showing that bisindolylmaleimide I is reversible. Bisindolylmaleimide I did not affect virus binding and was apparently not acting as a weak base, because its effects were independent of the pH of the external growth medium. These experiments show that bisindolylmaleimide I blocks replication of different types of influenza virus in a dose-dependent and reversible manner, and that virus entry into the cell is inhibited.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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