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Adenoviruses can cause infections in people of all ages at all seasons of the year. Adenovirus infections cause mild to severe illnesses. Children, immunocompromised patients, or those with existing respiratory or cardiac disease are at higher risk. Unfortunately, there are no commercial drugs or vaccines available on the market for adenovirus infections. Therefore, there is an urgent need to discover new antiviral drugs or drug targets for adenovirus infections. To identify potential antiviral agents for adenovirus infections, we screened a drug library containing 2138 compounds, most of which are drugs with known targets and past phase I clinical trials. On a cell-based assay, we identified 131 hits that inhibit adenoviruses type 3 and 5. A secondary screen confirmed the antiviral effects of 59 inhibitors that inhibit the replication of adenoviruses type 3 or 5. Most of the inhibitors target heat shock protein, protein tyrosine kinase, the mTOR signaling pathway, and other host factors, suggesting that these host factors may be essential for replicating adenoviruses. Through this study, the newly identified adenovirus inhibitors may provide a start point for developing new antiviral drugs to treat adenovirus infections. Further validation of the identified drug targets can help the development of new therapeutics against adenovirus infections.


Minli Liu, Lefang Jiang, Weihua Cao, Jianguo Wu, Xulin Chen. Identification of Inhibitors and Drug Targets for Human Adenovirus Infections. Viruses. 2022 May 04;14(5)

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PMID: 35632701

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