Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

M Segment-Based Minigenome System of Severe Fever with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome Virus as a Tool for Antiviral Drug Screening

Version 1 : Received: 14 April 2021 / Approved: 15 April 2021 / Online: 15 April 2021 (07:47:23 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Yamada, H.; Taniguchi, S.; Shimojima, M.; Tan, L.; Kimura, M.; Morinaga, Y.; Fukuhara, T.; Matsuura, Y.; Komeno, T.; Furuta, Y.; Saijo, M.; Tani, H. M Segment-Based Minigenome System of Severe Fever with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome Virus as a Tool for Antiviral Drug Screening. Viruses 2021, 13, 1061. Yamada, H.; Taniguchi, S.; Shimojima, M.; Tan, L.; Kimura, M.; Morinaga, Y.; Fukuhara, T.; Matsuura, Y.; Komeno, T.; Furuta, Y.; Saijo, M.; Tani, H. M Segment-Based Minigenome System of Severe Fever with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome Virus as a Tool for Antiviral Drug Screening. Viruses 2021, 13, 1061.

Journal reference: Viruses 2021, 13, 1061
DOI: 10.3390/v13061061

Abstract

Severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome virus (SFTSV) is an emerging tick-borne bunyavirus that causes severe disease in humans with case fatality rates of approximately 30%. There are few treatment options for SFTSV infection. SFTSV RNA synthesis is conducted using a virus-encoded complex with RNA-dependent RNA polymerase activity that is required for viral propagation. This complex and its activities are, therefore, potential antiviral targets. A library of small molecule compounds was screened using a high-throughput screening (HTS) based on an SFTSV minigenome assay (MGA) in a 96-well microplate format to identify potential lead inhibitors of SFTSV RNA synthesis. The assay confirmed inhibitory activities of previously reported SFTSV inhibitors, favipiravir, and ribavirin. A small-scale screening using MGA identified four candidate inhibitors that inhibited SFTSV minigenome activity by more than 80% while exhibiting less than 20% cell cytotoxicity with selectivity index (SI) values of more than 100. These included mycophenolate mofetil, methotrexate, clofarabine, and bleomycin. Overall, these data demonstrate that the SFTSV MGA is useful for anti-SFTSV drug development research.

Keywords

SFTSV; minigenome assay; antivirals; antiviral screening; favipiravir; ribavirin

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