Investigation of antiviral activity of posaconazole against Parechoviruses

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Title: Investigation of antiviral activity of posaconazole against Parechoviruses
Author: Plavec, Zlatka
Other contributor: Helsingin yliopisto, Maatalous-metsätieteellinen tiedekunta
University of Helsinki, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry
Helsingfors universitet, Agrikultur- och forstvetenskapliga fakulteten
Publisher: Helsingin yliopisto
Date: 2019
Language: eng
Thesis level: master's thesis
Degree program: Mikrobiologian ja mikrobibiotekniikan maisteriohjelma
Master's Programme in Microbiology and Microbial Biotechnology
Magisterprogrammet i mikrobiologi och mikrobibioteknik
Specialisation: ei opintosuuntaa
no specialization
ingen studieinriktning
Abstract: OBJECTIVES and RESEARCH QUESTION. Human parechovirus 3 (HPeV3) is a (+)ssRNA icosahaedrally symmetric virus which causes meningoencephalitis and sepsis in children and neonates. As it causes the most severe symptoms among parechoviruses it is attracting more attention (4). Currently there are no approved broad treatment strategies against parechoviruses, however recent research by Rhoden et al., 2017, reported the antiviral activity of posaconazole (PSZ) against HPeV3 in cell culture. Posaconazole is an antifungal drug approved for use against Candida and Aspergillus infections. It targets lanosterol-14alpha-demethylase and prevents the production of ergosterol, a lipid vital for fungal membranes not present in mammalian cells (24). In mammalian cells PSZ accumulates at the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and binds to the oxysterol-binding protein (OSBP) and Niemann-pick type C1 (NPC1) (59, 28, 30). The drug may affect cellular components and thusly block parechoviral infection or could bind to the viral capsid. METHODS. To test viral capsid-binding hypothesis PSZ activity was tested in a range of concentrations against two HPeV3 isolates and HPeV1 Harris in Vero and HT29 cell lines. HPeV3 isolate 152037 was purified on a CsCl step gradient and imaged by cryo electron microscopy (cryo-EM). Single particle analysis was done in Scipion (40) and acquired density maps visualized in UCSF Chimera (49). Atomic model of a different isolate of HPeV3 (PDB ID: 6GV4, 16) was changed at 6 sites and fitted to density maps from this work in Coot (52). Maps were subtracted in search of density that would represent PSZ. RESULTS. PSZ was effective against both HPeV3 isolates at 1 μM in Vero cells when added to the virus prior to infection, however not in HT29 cells. At higher concentrations (>10 μM) PSZ formed crystals which limited the concentration that can be used for cryo-EM. In order to test the hypothesis of PSZ being a capsid binder 3 datasets were collected, HPeV3 control, HPeV3+DMSO and HPeV3+PSZ (4 μM) with final resolutions after single particle analysis of 3.3 Å, 3.9 Å and 3.4 Å respectively. Subtraction of maps yielded no difference that would represent PSZ. DISCUSSION and CONCLUSION. PSZ does not appear to be a capsid binder although it appears to work early in the infection. Absence of PSZ density in HPeV3+PSZ density map could be due to low saturation and images containing PSZ were filtered out in image processing. Another possibility is low affinity of PSZ for the capsid. As PSZ binds various membranes it is possible that it blocks HPeV3 infection by targeting cell components. Additional experiments could be performed in the future in order to provide insight into which stages of infection PSZ affects.
Subject: posaconazole
single particle analysis

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