Viruses are unique particles. They are extremely small, often made up of nothing but more than a nucleic acid molecule within a protein shell; they are ultimate, intracellular parasites, must depend on a living host for reproduction.
Nucleosides are naturally occurring biological molecules, which are fundamental building blocks of DNA and RNA. They also participate as essential intermediates in virtually all aspects of cellular metabolism. Because of their pervasiveness, nucleoside analogues produce a variety of biological effects including antiviral, anti-cancer and anti-parasites activities.
In our laboratories we have been focusing on using synthetic organic chemistry to pursuit carbocyclic nucleosides as antiviral drug candidates. One mechanism is targeting on methylation of the capped structure of viral m-RNA. A relevant enzyme in modulating the process is AdoHcy hydrolase, which is a cellular enzyme that is also employed for viral protein translation and has been studied as a potential target responsible for the inhibition of this capping process. The other potential mechanism could related to RNA depended DNA or RNA polymerase inhibition. The rational drug design and SAR (Structure Activity Relationship) study could help for enlightening the drug action mechanism and provide the guidance for future drug design.
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