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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2012 Nov 2;427(4):796-800. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2012.10.003. Epub 2012 Oct 9.

Inhibition of norovirus replication by the nucleoside analogue 2'-C-methylcytidine.

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Laboratório de Microbiologia, Departamento de Ciências Biológicas, Faculdade de Farmácia, Universidade do Porto, Rua de Jorge Viterbo Ferreira no. 228, 4050-313 Porto, Portugal.


We here report on the activity of 2'-C-methylcytidine (2CMC) [a nucleoside polymerase inhibitor of the hepatitis C virus (HCV)] on the in vitro replication of (murine) norovirus (MNV). 2CMC inhibits (i) virus-induced CPE formation, (ii) viral RNA synthesis and (iii) infectious progeny formation with EC(50) values of ∼2μM. 2CMC acts at a time-point that coincides with the onset of viral RNA synthesis. Even following 30 passages of selective pressure no MNV-resistant virus was selected, which is in line with the high barrier to resistance of the nucleoside analogue for HCV. When combined with the broad-spectrum RNA virus inhibitor ribavirin, a marked antagonistic activity was observed indicating that these molecules should not be combined for the treatment of norovirus infections. Our results suggest that 2'-C-methyl nucleoside analogues should be further explored for the treatment and prophylaxis of norovirus infections.

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