Inhibition of influenza virus replication by constrained peptides targeting nucleoprotein

Hongbing Jiang, Yidong Xu, Li Li, Leiyun Weng, Qiang Wang, Shijian Zhang, Baosen Jia, Hongxing Hu, Ying He, Yves Jacob, Tetsuya Toyoda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Background: Because of high mutation rates, new drug-resistant viruses are rapidly evolving, thus making the necessary control of influenza virus infection difficult. Methods: We screened a constrained cysteine-rich peptide library mimicking μ-conotoxins from Conus geographus and a proline-rich peptide library mimicking lebocin 1 and 2 from Bombyx mori by using influenza virus RNA polymerase (PB1, PB2 and PA) and nucleoprotein (NP) as baits. Results: Among the 22 peptides selected from the libraries, we found that the NP-binding proline-rich pep-tide, PPWCCCSPMKRASPPPAQSDLPATPKCPP, inhibited influenza replicon activity to mean ±sd 40.7% ±15.8% when expressed as a GFP fusion peptide in replicon cells. Moreover, when the GFP fusion peptide was transduced into cells by an HIV-TAT protein transduction domain sequence, the replication of influenza virus A/WSN/33 (WSN) at a multiplicity of infection of 0.01 was inhibited to 20% and 69% at 12 and 24 h post-infection, respectively. In addition, the TAT-GFP fusion peptide was able to slightly protect Balb/c mice from WSN infection when administrated prior to the infection. Conclusions: These results suggest the potential of this peptide as the seed of an anti-influenza drug and reveal the usefulness of the constrained peptide strategy for generating inhibitors of influenza infection. The results also suggest that influenza NP, which is conserved among the influenza A viruses, is a good target for influenza inhibition, despite being the most abundant protein in infected cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-130
Number of pages12
JournalAntiviral Chemistry and Chemotherapy
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Virology


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