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Cells. 2020 Jan 9;9(1). pii: E170. doi: 10.3390/cells9010170.

RK-33 Is a Broad-Spectrum Antiviral Agent That Targets DEAD-Box RNA Helicase DDX3X.

Author information

1
Nuclear Signaling Laboratory, Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute and Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Monash University, Clayton, VIC 3800, Australia.
2
Infection & Immunity Program, Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute and Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Monash University, Clayton, VIC 3800, Australia.

Abstract

Viral disease is one of the greatest burdens for human health worldwide, with an urgent need for efficacious antiviral strategies. While antiviral drugs are available, in many cases, they are prone to the development of drug resistance. A way to overcome drug resistance associated with common antiviral therapies is to develop antivirals targeting host cellular co-factors critical to viral replication, such as DEAD-box helicase 3 X-linked (DDX3X), which plays key roles in RNA metabolism and the antiviral response. Here, we use biochemical/biophysical approaches and infectious assays to show for the first time that the small molecule RK-33 has broad-spectrum antiviral action by inhibiting the enzymatic activities of DDX3X. Importantly, we show that RK-33 is efficacious at low micromolar concentrations in limiting infection by human parainfluenza virus type 3 (hPIV-3), respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), dengue virus (DENV), Zika virus (ZIKV) or West Nile virus (WNV)-for all of which, no Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved therapeutic is widely available. These findings establish for the first time that RK-33 is a broad-spectrum antiviral agent that blocks DDX3X's catalytic activities in vitro and limits viral replication in cells.

KEYWORDS:

DDX3X; DEAD-box helicase; RK-33; small molecule inhibitor; viral infection

PMID:
31936642
DOI:
10.3390/cells9010170
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Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare no conflict of interest. The funders had no role in the design of the study; in the collection, analyses, or interpretation of data; in the writing of the manuscript, or in the decision to publish the results.

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