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Infectious disease

Viral infection

Venezuelan equine encephalitis viral (VEEV) nsP2 protein (VEEV nsP2) non-structural polyprotein precursor P1234 (VEEVgp1)

In vitro and mouse studies suggest VEEVgp2 inhibitors could help treat Venezuelan equine encephalitis viral (VEEV) infection, which causes acute CNS symptoms in about 14% of infected individuals. High throughput screening and mutagenesis studies in VEEV-infected nonhuman primate cells identified a quinazolinone analog that inhibited VEEVgp2-a protein of unknown function-and blocked viral replication with a nanomolar IC50 value. In mice challenged intranasally with VEEV, pretreatment with the analog increased survival compared with vehicle pretreatment. Ongoing work includes optimizing the lead compound and other chemical scaffolds identified via high throughput screening.

SciBX 7(29); doi:10.1038/scibx.2014.867
Published online July 31, 2014

Patented by The University of Kansas, the University of Louisville and the Southern Research Institute; available for licensing

Chung, D.-H. et al. PLoS Pathog.; published online June 26, 2014;
Contact: Dong-Hoon Chung, University of Louisville, Louisville, Ky.