A broad-spectrum antiviral targeting entry of enveloped viruses

Mike C. Wolf, Alexander N. Freiberg, Tinghu Zhang, Zeynep Akyol-Ataman, Andrew Grock, Patrick W. Hong, Jianrong Li, Natalya F. Watson, Angela Q. Fang, Hector C. Aguilar, Matteo Porotto, Anna N. Honko, Robert Damoiseaux, John P. Miller, Sara E. Woodson, Steven Chantasirivisal, Vanessa Fontanes, Oscar A. Negrete, Paul Krogstad, Asim DasguptaAnne Moscona, Lisa E. Hensley, Sean P. Whelan, Kym F. Faull, Michael R. Holbrook, Michael E. Jung, Benhur Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

172 Scopus citations


We describe an antiviral small molecule, LJ001, effective against numerous enveloped viruses including Influenza A, filoviruses, poxviruses, arenaviruses, bunyaviruses, paramyxoviruses, flaviviruses, and HIV-1. In sharp contrast, the compound had no effect on the infection of nonenveloped viruses. In vitro and in vivo assays showed no overt toxicity. LJ001 specifically intercalated into viral membranes, irreversibly inactivated virions while leaving functionally intact envelope proteins, and inhibited viral entry at a step after virus binding but before virus-cell fusion. LJ001 pretreatment also prevented virus-induced mortality from Ebola and Rift Valley fever viruses. Structure-activity relationship analyses of LJ001, a rhodanine derivative, implicated both thepolar and nonpolar ends of LJ001 in its antiviral activity. LJ001 specifically inhibited virus-cell but not cell-cell fusion, and further studieswith lipid biosynthesis inhibitors indicated that LJ001 exploits the therapeutic windowthat exists between static viral membranes and biogenic cellular membranes with reparative capacity. In sum, our data reveal a class of broad-spectrum antivirals effective against enveloped viruses that target the viral lipid membrane and compromises its ability to mediate virus-cell fusion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3157-3162
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number7
StatePublished - Feb 16 2010


  • Fusion inhibitor
  • Lipid membrane
  • Small molecule
  • Viral entry
  • Virology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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