Virology

A Promising Pesti-cide?

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Science  14 Jul 2000:
Vol. 289, Issue 5477, pp. 217
DOI: 10.1126/science.289.5477.217d

Pestiviruses are single-stranded RNA viruses that cause serious and sometimes fatal illness in domesticated livestock. The viruses are highly transmissible, and, because there are currently no effective antiviral drugs, pestivirus infections inflict a significant economic toll worldwide.

Baginski et al. have identified a small molecule that potently inhibits replication of a prototypic pestivirus, bovine viral diarrhea virus, in cultured cells (50% inhibition at 20 nanomolar). The compound, a triazinoindole designated VP32947, specifically targets the virally encoded RNA-dependent RNA polymerase, possibly by interfering with recognition of the RNA substrate, with no apparent toxicity to the host cell. Not only does VP32947 represent a promising lead compound for combating pestivirus infection, it also may assist drug discovery efforts for human hepatitis C virus (HCV), which shares many molecular features with pestiviruses and has been estimated to affect 170 million people. — PAK

Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.97, 7981 (2000).

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