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Infectious disease

Viral infection

Dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (DHODH)

Cell culture studies suggest inhibiting pyrimidine synthesis could help prevent or treat RNA viral infections. A chemical screen for inducers of an interferon-b (IFNB; IFN-b) reporter gene identified a compound with potent antiviral activity against multiple RNA viruses. In a human epithelial cell line, the compound inhibited pyrimidine synthesis and amplified expression of antiviral innate immune response genes. The cell line studies also suggested the compound inhibits pyrimidine synthesis by inhibiting a key enzyme in the pyrimidine biosynthesis pathway, DHODH. Next steps include genomewide analysis to identify genes induced by pyrimidine synthesis inhibitors and development of more active inhibitors.

SciBX 6(43); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.1229
Published online Nov. 7, 2013

Unpatented; licensing status not applicable

Lucas-Hourani, M. et al. PLoS Pathog.; published online Oct. 3, 2013;
Contact: Hélène Munier-Lehmann, Pasteur Institute, Paris, France
Contact: Frédéric Tangy, same affiliation as above
Contact: Pierre-Olivier Vidalain, same affiliation as above