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Title: Development of a new class of antivirals active against pox and measles viruses
Author: Farleigh, Laura Elizabeth
ISNI:       0000 0004 5358 7466
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2014
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In this PhD project we show for the first time that novel dideoxy bicyclic pyrimidine nucleoside analogues (ddBCNAs) with L-chirality represent promising antiviral candidates for use against pox and measles viruses. We suggest a mechanism of action based on a cellular target. Our lead compound (Cf2642, with side chain C9H18–O–C5H11) is active against vaccinia virus (a surrogate poxvirus for smallpox) and measles virus, with IC50 concentrations of 0.19 and 7.5 µM, respectively. This is a 60-fold enhancement over cidofovir (viral DNA polymerase inhibitor; IC50 of 11.5 µM against VACV). A structure activity relationship was established, which was similar for both viruses, indicating a common and specific mechanism of action. Cf2642 does not inhibit HSV-1/2, influenza, adeno or yellow fever viruses. The mechanism of action for the ddBCNAs has been investigated and, though not defined, has been narrowed down. Based on our observations of drug activity in cell lines derived from various sources, we have suggested a cellular target for the ddBCNAs, most likely cellular membrane compartments or the proteins located therein. Though inhibition of vaccinia is observed within two hours of infection, we have shown that the ddBCNAs are unlikely to be entry inhibitors. Acidification of the extracellular medium was observed but, whilst it may be linked to the mechanism of action, this is not the cause of the antiviral effects. With a possible cellular target, toxicity was carefully evaluated. We have not observed significant cytotoxicity in any of our cell models. Antivirals active against cellular targets are less subject to viral resistance, which may develop rapidly with virus-targeting drugs. This could be critical since, there are currently no effective measles antiviral drugs available on the market, and resistance to measles RNA polymerase inhibitors and the potential antipoxviral drug cidofovir has already been described.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: QR355 Virology ; RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology