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J Virol. 2002 Aug;76(15):7874-82.

Pharmacological cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors inhibit replication of wild-type and drug-resistant strains of herpes simplex virus and human immunodeficiency virus type 1 by targeting cellular, not viral, proteins.

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University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.


Pharmacological cyclin-dependent kinase (cdk) inhibitors (PCIs) block replication of several viruses, including herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). Yet, these antiviral effects could result from inhibition of either cellular cdks or viral enzymes. For example, in addition to cellular cdks, PCIs could inhibit any of the herpesvirus-encoded kinases, DNA replication proteins, or proteins involved in nucleotide metabolism. To address this issue, we asked whether purine-derived PCIs (P-PCIs) inhibit HSV and HIV-1 replication by targeting cellular or viral proteins. P-PCIs inhibited replication of HSV-1 and -2 and HIV-1, which require cellular cdks to replicate, but not vaccinia virus or lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus, which are not known to require cdks to replicate. P-PCIs also inhibited strains of HSV-1 and HIV-1 that are resistant to conventional antiviral drugs, which target viral proteins. In addition, the anti-HSV effects of P-PCIs and a conventional antiherpesvirus drug, acyclovir, were additive, demonstrating that the two drugs act by distinct mechanisms. Lastly, the spectrum of proteins that bound to P-PCIs in extracts of mock- and HSV-infected cells was the same. Based on these observations, we conclude that P-PCIs inhibit virus replication by targeting cellular, not viral, proteins.

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