The Antiviral Compound for MERS-CoV

The Antiviral Compound for MERS-CoV

(From Potential Antiviral Agents for Coronaviruses: Compounds, Herbal Products, and Drug Targets)

  • A type of nucleoside analogues may be similar to the natural nucleosides that can block viral replication (Agostini et al., 2019).
  • Potent antiviral effects of a broad-spectrum ribonucleoside analogue, β-d-N4-hydroxycytidine (NHC) have been identified.
  • Studies found that viral proofreading activity did not influence the sensitivity to NHC inhibition (Agostini et al., 2019).
  • The finding refers to the interaction between a nucleoside analogue inhibitor and the CoV replicase.  
  • However, mutagenic nucleoside analogues including ribavirin and 5-fluorouracil may be ineffective.
  • This may be caused by the proofreading activity of the viral 3’-5’ exoribonuclease (ExoN).
  • NHC may inhibit multiple viruses including murine hepatitis virus (MHV) and Middle East respiratory syndrome CoV (MERS-CoV).
  • NHC may evade or overcome ExoN activity.
  • NHC inhibited MHV in the early stages of infection.
  • Further development of NHC may be helpful for finding broad-spectrum antivirals of CoV infections (Agostini et al., 2019).


Agostini, M. L., Pruijssers, A. J., Chappell, J. D., Gribble, J., Lu, X., Andres, E. L., Bluemling, G. R., Lockwood, M. A., Sheahan, T. P., Sims, A. C., Natchus, M. G., Saindane, M., Kolykhalov, A. A., Painter, G. R., Baric, R. S., & Denison, M. R. (2019). Small-Molecule Antiviral β-d-N4-Hydroxycytidine Inhibits a Proofreading-Intact Coronavirus with a High Genetic Barrier to Resistance. Journal of Virology, 93(24).

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