Methods of Inhibiting Poxvirus Growth
Inventors: Bart Sefton, Roberta Schulte
Potential Uses: Infection, Drug Discovery and Development, Poxvirus treatments
Targets for the development of anti-smallpox drugs
A drug that blocked poxvirus growth would be valuable if smallpox virus were to be used as a weapon. We have tested the ability of inhibitors of poxvirus protein kinases to inhibit poxvirus growth. Poxviruses encode two essential protein kinases, B1 and F10. We identified a number of small molecules that inhibited these protein kinases in vitro. One of these compounds inhibited the growth of vaccinia virus strongly. The drug reduced virus growth by 99% at a concentration of approximately 35 M. This effect is apparently specific. This compound had no effect on the growth of the unrelated vesicular stomatitis virus or on the growth of human cells at a concentration that inhibited vaccinia growth by more than 90%. This compound shows promise for further development into an effective anti-small pox drug. In addition, the two essential viral protein kinases represent useful targets for the development of additional anti-poxvirus drugs.