Elisa Fanunza, Aldo Frau, Angela Corona and Enzo Tramontano* Pages 362 - 374 ( 13 )
Upon viral infection, the interferon (IFN) system triggers potent antiviral mechanisms limiting viral growth and spread. Hence, to sustain their infection, viruses evolved efficient counteracting strategies to evade IFN control. Ebola virus (EBOV), member of the family Filoviridae, is one of the most virulent and deadly pathogen ever faced by humans. The etiological agent of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), EBOV can be undoubtedly considered the perfect example of a powerful inhibitor of the host organism immune response activation. Particularly, the efficacious suppression of the IFN cascade contributes to disease progression and severity. Among the EBOVencoded proteins, the Viral Proteins 35 (VP35) and 24 (VP24) are responsible for the EBOV extreme virulence, representing the core of such inhibitory function through which EBOV determines its very effective shield to the cellular immune defenses. VP35 inhibits the activation of the cascade leading to IFN production, while VP24 inhibits the activation of the IFN-stimulated genes. A number of studies demonstrated that both VP35 and VP24 is validated target for drug development. Insights into the structural characteristics of VP35 and VP24 domains revealed crucial pockets exploitable for drug development. Considered the lack of therapy for EVD, restoring the immune activation is a promising approach for drug development. In the present review, we summarize the importance of VP35 and VP24 proteins in counteracting the host IFN cellular response and discuss their potential as druggable viral targets as a promising approach toward attenuation of EBOV virulence.
Ebola virus, Interferon, IFN production, IFN signaling, VP35, VP24, small molecules and FDA approved drugs.
Department of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Cagliari, Sardinia, Department of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Cagliari, Sardinia, Department of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Cagliari, Sardinia, Department of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Cagliari, Sardinia