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Evasion of a human cytomegalovirus entry inhibitor with potent cysteine reactivity is concomitant with the utilisation of a heparan sulfate proteoglycan independent route of entry

Murray, MJ; Bonilla-Medrano, NI; Lee, QL; Oxenford, SJ; Angell, R; Depledge, DP; Reeves, MB; (2020) Evasion of a human cytomegalovirus entry inhibitor with potent cysteine reactivity is concomitant with the utilisation of a heparan sulfate proteoglycan independent route of entry. Journal of Virology 10.1128/JVI.02012-19. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

The dependence of viruses on the host cell to complete their replicative cycle renders cellular functions potential targets for novel anti-virals. We screened a panel of broad acting cellular ion channel inhibitors for activity against human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) and identified the voltage-gated chloride ion channel inhibitor 4,4'-diisothiocyano-2,2'-stilbenedisulfonic acid (DIDS) as a potent inhibitor of HCMV replication. Time of addition studies demonstrated that DIDS inhibited entry via a direct interaction with the virion that impeded binding to the plasma membrane. Synthesis and analysis of pharmacological variants of DIDS suggested that intrinsic cysteine, and not lysine, reactivity was important for activity against HCMV.Although sequencing of a DIDS-resistant HCMV revealed enrichment of a mutation within UL100 (encoding for glycoprotein M) and a specific truncation of glycoprotein RL13, these did not explain the DIDS resistance phenotype. Specifically, only the introduction of the RL13 mutant partially pheno-copied the DIDS resistance phenotype. Serendipitously, the entry of DIDS-resistant HCMV also became independent of heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs) suggesting that evasion of DIDS lowered dependence on an initial interaction with HSPGs. Intriguingly, the DIDS-resistant virus demonstrated increased sensitivity to antibody neutralisation, which mapped, in part, to the presence of the gM mutation.Taken together the data characterise the anti-viral activity of a novel HCMV inhibitor that drives HCMV infection to occur independent of HSPGs and the generation of increased sensitivity to humoral immunity. The data also demonstrate that compounds with cysteine reactivity have the potential to act as anti-viral compounds against HCMV via direct engagement of virions.IMPORTANCE Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is major pathogen of non-immunocompetent individuals which remains in need of new therapeutic options. Here we have identified a potent antiviral compound (4,4'-diisothiocyano-2,2'-stilbenedisulfonic acid, DIDS), its mechanism of action and the chemical properties required for its activity. In doing so, the data argue that cysteine-reactive compounds could have the capacity to be developed for anti-HCMV activity. Importantly, the data show that entry of DIDS resistant virus became independent of heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs) but, concomitantly, became more sensitive to neutralising antibody responses. This serendipitous observation suggests that retention of an interaction with HSPGs during the entry process in vivo may be evolutionarily advantageous through better evasion of humoral responses directed against HCMV virions.

Type: Article
Title: Evasion of a human cytomegalovirus entry inhibitor with potent cysteine reactivity is concomitant with the utilisation of a heparan sulfate proteoglycan independent route of entry
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1128/JVI.02012-19
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.02012-19
Language: English
Additional information: © 2020 Murray et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Infection and Immunity
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > VP: Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > VP: Health > Translational Research Office
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10089839
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