Discovery of cyclosporine A and its analogs as broad-spectrum anti-influenza drugs with a high in vitro genetic barrier of drug resistance

Chunlong Ma, Fang Li, Rami Ghassan Musharrafieh, Jun Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

As the number of drug-resistant influenza viruses continues to increase, antivirals with novel mechanisms of action are urgently needed. Among the two classes of FDA-approved antiviral drugs, neuraminidase (NA) inhibitors, oseltamivir, zanamivir, and peramivir, are currently the only choice for the prevention and treatment of influenza virus infection. Due to the antigenic drift and antigenic shift, it will only be a matter of time before influenza viruses become completely resistant to these NA inhibitors. In pursuing the next generation of antiviral drugs with complementary mechanisms of action to those of the NA inhibitors, we have identified a natural product, cyclosporine A (CsA) (1), as a desired drug candidate. In this study, we discovered that CsA (1) and its analogs have broad-spectrum antiviral activity against multiple influenza A and B strains, including strains that are resistant to either NA or M2 inhibitors or both. Moreover, CsA (1) displays a high in vitro genetic barrier of drug resistance than oseltamivir carboxylate Mechanistic studies revealed that CsA (1) acts at the intermediate step of viral replication post viral fusion. Its antiviral mechanism is independent of inhibiting the isomerase activity of cyclophilin A (CypA), and CsA (1) has no effect on the viral polymerase activity The potent antiviral efficacy of CsA (1), coupled with the high in vitro genetic barrier of drug resistance and novel mechanism of action, renders CsA (1) a promising anti-influenza drug candidate for further development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)62-72
Number of pages11
JournalAntiviral Research
Volume133
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016

Keywords

  • Antiviral
  • Broad spectrum
  • CsA
  • Influenza virus
  • Resistance
  • Serial passage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Virology

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