Influenza viruses are known to cause acute respiratory illness, sometimes leading to high mortality rates. Though there are approved influenza antivirals available, their efficacy has reduced over time, due to the drug resistance crisis. There is a perpetual need for newer and better drugs. Drug screening based on the interaction dynamics with different viral target proteins has been a preferred approach in the antiviral drug discovery process. In this study, the FDA approved drug database was virtually screened with the help of Schrödinger software, to select small molecules exhibiting best interactions with the influenza A virus endonuclease protein. A detailed cytotoxicity profiling was carried out for the two selected compounds, cefepime and dolutegravir, followed by in vitro anti-influenza screening using plaque reduction assay. Cefepime showed no cytotoxicity up to 200 μM, while dolutegravir was non-toxic up to 100 μM in Madin-Darby canine kidney cells. The compounds did not show any reduction in viral plaque numbers indicating no anti-influenza activity. An inefficiency in the translation of the molecular interactions into antiviral activity does not necessarily mean that the molecules were inactive. Nevertheless, testing the molecules for endonuclease inhibition per se can be considered a worthwhile approach.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Allergy
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Microbiology (medical)
- Infectious Diseases