BIROn - Birkbeck Institutional Research Online

    The essential co-option of Uracil-DNA Glycosylases by Herpesviruses invites novel antiviral design

    Savva, Renos (2020) The essential co-option of Uracil-DNA Glycosylases by Herpesviruses invites novel antiviral design. Microorganisms 8 (3), p. 461. ISSN 2076-2607.

    31463.pdf - Published Version of Record
    Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

    Download (1MB) | Preview


    Vast evolutionary distances separate the known herpesviruses, adapted to colonise specialised cells in predominantly vertebrate hosts. Nevertheless, the distinct herpesvirus families share recognisably related genomic attributes. The taxonomic Family Herpesviridae includes many important human and animal pathogens. Successful antiviral drugs targeting Herpesviridae are available, but the need for reduced toxicity and improved efficacy in critical healthcare interventions invites novel solutions: immunocompromised patients presenting particular challenges. A conserved enzyme required for viral fitness is Ung, a uracil-DNA glycosylase, which is encoded ubiquitously in Herpesviridae genomes and also host cells. Research investigating Ung in Herpesviridae dynamics has uncovered an unexpected combination of viral co-option of host Ung, along with remarkable Subfamily-specific exaptation of the virus-encoded Ung. These enzymes apparently play essential roles, both in the maintenance of viral latency and during initiation of lytic replication. The ubiquitously conserved Ung active site has previously been explored as a therapeutic target. However, exquisite selectivity and better drug-like characteristics might instead be obtained via targeting structural variations within another motif of catalytic importance in Ung. The motif structure is unique within each Subfamily and essential for viral survival. This unique signature in highly conserved Ung constitutes an attractive exploratory target for the development of novel beneficial therapeutics. View Full-Text


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): herpes, herpesvirus, uracil-DNA glycosylase, Ung, antiviral, drug discovery, novel chemical entity
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Natural Sciences
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 25 Mar 2020 10:31
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:58


    Activity Overview
    6 month trend
    6 month trend

    Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.

    Archive Staff Only (login required)

    Edit/View Item Edit/View Item