Author(s): Akkarawongsa R, Potocky TB, English EP, Gellman SH, Brandt CR. Inhibition of herpes simplex virus type 1 infection by cationic beta-peptides. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2008 Jun;52(6):2120-9. doi: 10.1128/AAC.01424-07. Epub 2008 Apr 7. PMID 18391029
Journal: Antimicrobial Agents And Chemotherapy, Volume 52, Issue 6, Jun 2008
Previously, it was shown that cationic alpha-peptides derived from the human immunodeficiency virus TAT protein transduction domain blocked herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) entry. We now show that cationic oligomers of beta-amino acids (“beta-peptides”) inhibit HSV-1 infection. Among three cationic beta-peptides tested, the most effective inhibition was observed for the one with a strong propensity to adopt a helical conformation in which cationic and hydrophobic residues are segregated from one another (“globally amphiphilic helix”). The antiviral effect was not cell type specific. Inhibition of virus infection by the beta-peptides occurred at the postattachment penetration step, with a 50% effective concentration of 3 muM for the most-effective beta-peptide. The beta-peptides did not inactivate virions in solution, nor did they induce resistance to infection when cells were pretreated with the beta-peptides. The beta-peptides showed little if any toxicity toward Vero cells. These results raise the possibility that cationic beta-peptides may be useful antiviral agents for HSV-1 and demonstrate the potential of beta-peptides as novel antiviral drugs.