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      A Novel Frameshifting Inhibitor Having Antiviral Activity against Zoonotic Coronaviruses

      , , , , , , , , ,
      Viruses
      MDPI AG

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          Abstract

          Recent outbreaks of zoonotic coronaviruses, such as Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), have caused tremendous casualties and great economic shock. Although some repurposed drugs have shown potential therapeutic efficacy in clinical trials, specific therapeutic agents targeting coronaviruses have not yet been developed. During coronavirus replication, a replicase gene cluster, including RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp), is alternatively translated via a process called -1 programmed ribosomal frameshift (−1 PRF) by an RNA pseudoknot structure encoded in viral RNAs. The coronavirus frameshifting has been identified previously as a target for antiviral therapy. In this study, the frameshifting efficiencies of MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 were determined using an in vitro −1 PRF assay system. Our group has searched approximately 9689 small molecules to identify potential −1 PRF inhibitors. Herein, we found that a novel compound, 2-(5-acetylthiophen-2yl)furo[2,3-b]quinoline (KCB261770), inhibits the frameshifting of MERS-CoV and effectively suppresses viral propagation in MERS-CoV-infected cells. The inhibitory effects of 87 derivatives of furo[2,3-b]quinolines were also examined showing less prominent inhibitory effect when compared to compound KCB261770. We demonstrated that KCB261770 inhibits the frameshifting without suppressing cap-dependent translation. Furthermore, this compound was able to inhibit the frameshifting, to some extent, of SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2. Therefore, the novel compound 2-(5-acetylthiophen-2yl)furo[2,3-b]quinoline may serve as a promising drug candidate to interfere with pan-coronavirus frameshifting.

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          Isolation of a novel coronavirus from a man with pneumonia in Saudi Arabia.

          A previously unknown coronavirus was isolated from the sputum of a 60-year-old man who presented with acute pneumonia and subsequent renal failure with a fatal outcome in Saudi Arabia. The virus (called HCoV-EMC) replicated readily in cell culture, producing cytopathic effects of rounding, detachment, and syncytium formation. The virus represents a novel betacoronavirus species. The closest known relatives are bat coronaviruses HKU4 and HKU5. Here, the clinical data, virus isolation, and molecular identification are presented. The clinical picture was remarkably similar to that of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak in 2003 and reminds us that animal coronaviruses can cause severe disease in humans.
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            Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV): Announcement of the Coronavirus Study Group

            Journal of Virology, 87(14), 7790-7792
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              Human Coronavirus: Host-Pathogen Interaction

              Human coronavirus (HCoV) infection causes respiratory diseases with mild to severe outcomes. In the last 15 years, we have witnessed the emergence of two zoonotic, highly pathogenic HCoVs: severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). Replication of HCoV is regulated by a diversity of host factors and induces drastic alterations in cellular structure and physiology. Activation of critical signaling pathways during HCoV infection modulates the induction of antiviral immune response and contributes to the pathogenesis of HCoV. Recent studies have begun to reveal some fundamental aspects of the intricate HCoV-host interaction in mechanistic detail. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge of host factors co-opted and signaling pathways activated during HCoV infection, with an emphasis on HCoV-infection-induced stress response, autophagy, apoptosis, and innate immunity. The cross talk among these pathways, as well as the modulatory strategies utilized by HCoV, is also discussed.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                VIRUBR
                Viruses
                Viruses
                MDPI AG
                1999-4915
                August 2021
                August 18 2021
                : 13
                : 8
                : 1639
                Article
                10.3390/v13081639
                34452503
                072b447c-aa5d-43df-9bb0-8441d1378dd2
                © 2021

                https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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