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Two novel fusion inhibitors of human respiratory syncytial virus

Journal article
Authors Anna Lundin
Tomas Bergström
Loubna Bendrioua
Nina Kann
Beata Adamiak
Edward Trybala
Published in Antiviral Research
Volume 88
Issue 3
Pages 317-324
ISSN 0166-3542
Publication year 2010
Published at Institute of Biomedicine, Department of Infectious Medicine
Pages 317-324
Language en
Keywords respiratory syncytial virus, antiviral drugs, cell culture, antiviral screening, virus fusion inhibitor, drug resistence
Subject categories Pharmaceutical microbiology, Infectious Medicine


To search for novel drugs against human respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), we have screened a diversity collection of 16,671 compounds for anti-RSV activity in cultures of HEp-2 cells. Two of the hit compounds, i.e., the N-(2-hydroxyethyl)-4-methoxy-N-methyl-3-(6-methyl[1,2,4]triazolo[3,4-a]phthalazin-3-yl)benzenesulfonamide (designated as P13) and the 1,4-bis(3-methyl-4-pyridinyl)-1,4-diazepane (designated as C15), reduced the virus infectivity with IC₅₀ values of 0.11 and 0.13μM respectively. The concentration of P13 and C15 that reduced the viability of HEp-2 cells by 50% was 310 and 75μM respectively. Both P13 and C15 exhibited no direct virucidal activity or inhibitory effects on the virus attachment to cells. However, to inhibit formation of RSV-induced syncytial plaques P13 and C15 had to be present during the virus entry into the cells and the cell-to-cell transmission of the virus. The RSV multiplication in HEp-2 cells in the presence of P13 or C15 resulted in rapid selection of viral variants that were ∼1000 times less sensitive to these drugs than original virus. Sequencing of resistant viruses revealed presence of amino acid substitutions in the F protein of RSV, i.e., the D489G for C15-selected, and the T400I and N197T (some clones) for the P13-selected virus variants. In conclusion, we have identified two novel fusion inhibitors of RSV, and the detailed understanding of their mode of antiviral activity including selection for the drug resistant viral variants may help to develop selective and efficient anti-RSV drugs.

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