Screening of a Library of FDA-Approved Drugs Identifies Several Enterovirus Replication Inhibitors That Target Viral Protein 2C

Rachel Ulferts, S. Matthijn de Boer, Lonneke van der Linden, Lisa Bauer, Hey Rhyoung Lyoo, Maria J. Maté, Julie Lichière, Bruno Canard, Daphne Lelieveld, Wienand Omta, David Egan, Bruno Coutard, Frank J. M. van Kuppeveld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Enteroviruses (EVs) represent many important pathogens of humans. Unfortunately, no antiviral compounds currently exist to treat infections with these viruses. We screened the Prestwick Chemical Library, a library of approved drugs, for inhibitors of coxsackievirus B3, identified pirlindole as a potent novel inhibitor, and confirmed the inhibitory action of dibucaine, zuclopenthixol, fluoxetine, and formoterol. Upon testing of viruses of several EV species, we found that dibucaine and pirlindole inhibited EV-B and EV-D and that dibucaine also inhibited EV-A, but none of them inhibited EV-C or rhinoviruses (RVs). In contrast, formoterol inhibited all enteroviruses and rhinoviruses tested. All compounds acted through the inhibition of genome replication. Mutations in the coding sequence of the coxsackievirus B3 (CV-B3) 2C protein conferred resistance to dibucaine, pirlindole, and zuclopenthixol but not formoterol, suggesting that 2C is the target for this set of compounds. Importantly, dibucaine bound to CV-B3 protein 2C in vitro, whereas binding to a 2C protein carrying the resistance mutations was reduced, providing an explanation for how resistance is acquired
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2627-2638
JournalAntimicrobial agents and chemotherapy
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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