Emetine inhibits Zika and Ebola virus infections through two molecular mechanisms: Inhibiting viral replication and decreasing viral entry

Shu Yang, Miao Xu, Emily M. Lee, Kirill Gorshkov, Sergey A. Shiryaev, Shihua He, Wei Sun, Yu Shan Cheng, Xin Hu, Anil Mathew Tharappel, Billy Lu, Antonella Pinto, Chen Farhy, Chun Teng Huang, Zirui Zhang, Wenjun Zhu, Yuying Wu, Yi Zhou, Guang Song, Heng ZhuKhalida Shamim, Carles Martínez-Romero, Adolfo García-Sastre, Richard A. Preston, Dushyantha T. Jayaweera, Ruili Huang, Wenwei Huang, Menghang Xia, Anton Simeonov, Guoli Ming, Xiangguo Qiu, Alexey V. Terskikh, Hengli Tang, Hongjun Song, Wei Zheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations

Abstract

The re-emergence of Zika virus (ZIKV) and Ebola virus (EBOV) poses serious and continued threats to the global public health. Effective therapeutics for these maladies is an unmet need. Here, we show that emetine, an anti-protozoal agent, potently inhibits ZIKV and EBOV infection with a low nanomolar half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) in vitro and potent activity in vivo. Two mechanisms of action for emetine are identified: the inhibition of ZIKV NS5 polymerase activity and disruption of lysosomal function. Emetine also inhibits EBOV entry. Cephaeline, a desmethyl analog of emetine, which may be better tolerated in patients than emetine, exhibits a similar efficacy against both ZIKV and EBOV infections. Hence, emetine and cephaeline offer pharmaceutical therapies against both ZIKV and EBOV infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number31
JournalCell Discovery
Volume4
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Emetine inhibits Zika and Ebola virus infections through two molecular mechanisms: Inhibiting viral replication and decreasing viral entry'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this