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Journal Articles Pharmacological Reviews Year : 2021

Unlocking G-Quadruplexes as Antiviral Targets


Guanine-rich DNA and RNA sequences can fold into noncanonical nucleic acid structures called G-quadruplexes (G4s). Since the discovery that these structures may act as scaffolds for the binding of specific ligands, G4s aroused the attention of a growing number of scientists. The versatile roles of G4 structures in viral replication, transcription, and translation suggest direct applications in therapy or diagnostics. G4-interacting molecules (proteins or small molecules) may also affect the balance between latent and lytic phases, and increasing evidence reveals that G4s are implicated in generally suppressing viral processes, such as replication, transcription, translation, or reverse transcription. In this review, we focus on the discovery of G4s in viruses and the role of G4 ligands in the antiviral drug discovery process. After assessing the role of viral G4s, we argue that host G4s participate in immune modulation, viral tumorigenesis, cellular pathways involved in virus maturation, and DNA integration of viral genomes, which can be potentially employed for antiviral therapeutics. Furthermore, we scrutinize the impediments and shortcomings in the process of studying G4 ligands and drug discovery. Finally, some unanswered questions regarding viral G4s are highlighted for prospective future projects.


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Dates and versions

pasteur-03700000 , version 1 (20-06-2022)




Ardavan Abiri, Marc Lavigne, Masoud Rezaei, Sanaz Nikzad, Peyman Zare, et al.. Unlocking G-Quadruplexes as Antiviral Targets. Pharmacological Reviews, 2021, 73 (3), pp.897-923. ⟨10.1124/pharmrev.120.000230⟩. ⟨pasteur-03700000⟩
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