Viral engagement with host receptors blocked by a novel class of tryptophan dendrimers that targets the 5-fold-axis of the enterovirus - A 71 capsid

Liang Sun, Hyunwook Lee, Hendrik Jan Thibaut, Kristina Lanko, Eva Rivero-Buceta, Carol Bator, Belen Martinez-Gualda, Kai Dallmeier, Leen Delang, Pieter Leyssen, Federico Gago, Ana San-Felix, Susan Hafenstein, Carmen Mirabelli, Johan Neyts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Enterovirus A71 (EV-A71) is a non-polio neurotropic enterovirus with pandemic potential. There are no antiviral agents approved to prevent or treat EV-A71 infections. We here report on the molecular mechanism by which a novel class of tryptophan dendrimers inhibits (at low nanomolar to high picomolar concentration) EV-A71 replication in vitro. A lead compound in the series (MADAL385) prevents binding and internalization of the virus but does not, unlike classical capsid binders, stabilize the particle. By means of resistance selection, reverse genetics and cryo-EM, we map the binding region of MADAL385 to the 5-fold vertex of the viral capsid and demonstrate that a single molecule binds to each vertex. By interacting with this region, MADAL385 prevents the interaction of the virus with its cellular receptors PSGL1 and heparan sulfate, thereby blocking the attachment of EV-A71 to the host cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere1007760
JournalPLoS pathogens
Volume15
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Virology

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