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J Virol. 2018 Sep 26;92(20). pii: e01018-18. doi: 10.1128/JVI.01018-18. Print 2018 Oct 15.

Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs Potently Inhibit the Replication of Zika Viruses by Inducing the Degradation of AXL.

Pan T1,2,3, Peng Z1,2,3, Tan L1,2,3, Zou F1,2,3, Zhou N1,2,3, Liu B1,2,3, Liang L1,2,3, Chen C1,2,3, Liu J1,2,3, Wu L1,2,3, Liu G1,2,3, Peng Z1,2,3, Liu W1,2,3, Ma X1,2,3, Zhang J1,2,3, Zhu X2,4, Liu T1,2,5, Li M2,4, Huang X1,2,5, Tao L6, Zhang Y7,2,3, Zhang H7,2,3,4.

Author information

1
Institute of Human Virology, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China.
2
Key Laboratory of Tropical Disease Control of Ministry of Education, Zhongshan School of Medicine, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China.
3
Guangdong Engineering Research Center for Antimicrobial Agent and Immunotechnology, Zhongshan School of Medicine, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China.
4
Department of Microbiology, Zhongshan School of Medicine, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China.
5
Department of Immunology, Zhongshan School of Medicine, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China.
6
Department of Pharmacology, Zhongshan School of Medicine, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China.
7
Institute of Human Virology, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China zhangyiwen_83@163.com zhangh92@mail.sysu.edu.cn.

Abstract

Zika virus (ZIKV) is genetically and biologically related to other Flaviviridae family members and has disseminated to many countries. It is associated with severe consequences, including the abnormal development of the neural system in fetuses and neurological diseases in adults. Therefore, the development of anti-ZIKV drugs is of paramount importance. Screening of generic drugs revealed that several nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), including aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, acetaminophen, and lornoxicam, potently inhibited the entry of Zika virus Env/HIV-1-pseudotyped viruses. They also significantly inhibited the replication of wild-type ZIKV both in cell lines and in primary human fetal endothelial cells. Interestingly, the NSAIDs exerted this inhibitory effect by potently reducing the expression of AXL, the entry cofactor of ZIKV. Further studies showed that the NSAIDs downregulated the prostaglandin E2/prostaglandin E receptor 2 (EP2)/cAMP/protein kinase A (PKA) signaling pathway and reduced PKA-dependent CDC37 phosphorylation and the interaction between CDC37 and HSP90, which subsequently facilitated CHIP/ubiquitination/proteasome-mediated AXL degradation. Taken together, our results highlight a new mechanism of action of antiviral agents which may assist in designing a convenient strategy for treating ZIKV-infected patients.IMPORTANCE Zika virus (ZIKV) infection, which causes congenital malformations, including microcephaly and other neurological disorders, has attracted global attention. We observed that several NSAIDs significantly inhibited ZIKV infection. Based on our observations, we propose a novel mechanism of action of antiviral compounds which involves the blockade of virus entry via degradation of the entry cofactor. Furthermore, NSAIDs can be practically used for preventing ZIKV infection in pregnant women, as certain NSAIDs, including ibuprofen and acetaminophen, are considered clinically safe.

KEYWORDS:

AXL; NSAID; ZIKV; ubiquitination

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