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J Infect Dis. 2012 Jun;205(11):1654-64. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jis273. Epub 2012 Mar 28.

A new class of synthetic peptide inhibitors blocks attachment and entry of human pathogenic viruses.

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Heinrich Pette Institute-Leibniz Institute for Experimental Virology, Hamburg.


Many enveloped viruses, including herpes viruses, hepatitis B virus (HBV), and hepatitis C virus (HCV), and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), are among the most important human pathogens and are often responsible for coinfections involving ≥2 types of viruses. However, therapies that are effective against multiple virus classes are rare. Here we present a new class of synthetic anti-lipopolysaccharide peptides (SALPs) that bind to heparan sulfate moieties on the cell surface and inhibit infection with a variety of enveloped viruses. We demonstrate that SALPs inhibit entry of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), herpes simplex virus (HSV) 1 and 2, HBV, and HCV to their respective host cells. Despite their high antiviral efficiency, SALPs were well tolerated, and neither toxicity nor measurable inhibitor-induced adverse effects were observed. Since these broad-spectrum antiviral peptides target a host cell rather than a viral component, they may also be useful for suppression of viruses that are resistant to antiviral drugs.

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