Antiviral Resistance by the Polyinosinic Acid-Poly(1-vinylcytosine) Complex

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Science  11 Jun 1971:
Vol. 172, Issue 3988, pp. 1146-1148
DOI: 10.1126/science.172.3988.1146


The antiviral activities of analogs of the double-stranded complex of polyinosinic and polycytidylic acids [poly(I)·poly(C)], which is a potent interferon inducer, have been studied. Structural changes that modify the polymer backbone substantially, such as loops or 2' → 5' phosphodiester bonds, lead to decreased antiviral activity. Unexpectedly, however, the complex of polyinosinic acid and poly(1-vinylcytosine), which is only a much more distantly related analog of poly(I) · poly(C), shows high activity. It is postulated that the high activity is related to the reduction of the charge/mass ratio and to the existence of this complex in an aggregated state; these are two factors that generally enhance the uptake of compo unds by cells.