Indole derivatives compounds (IDC) are a new class of splicing inhibitors that have a selective action on exonic splicing enhancers (ESE)-dependent activity of individual serine-arginine-rich (SR) proteins. Some of these molecules have been shown to compromise assembly of HIV infectious particles in cell cultures by interfering with the activity of the SR protein SF2/ASF and by subsequently suppressing production of splicing-dependent retroviral accessory proteins. For all replication-competent retroviruses, a limiting requirement for infection and pathogenesis is the expression of the envelope glycoprotein which strictly depends on the host splicing machinery. Here, we have evaluated the efficiency of IDC on an animal model of retroviral pathogenesis using a fully replication-competent retrovirus. In this model, all newborn mice infected with a fully replicative murine leukemia virus (MLV) develop erythroleukemia within 6 to 8 weeks of age. We tested several IDC for their ability to interfere ex vivo with MLV splicing and virus spreading as well as for their protective effect in vivo. We show here that two of these IDC, IDC13 and IDC78, selectively altered splicing-dependent production of the retroviral envelope gene, thus inhibiting early viral replication in vivo, sufficiently to protect mice from MLV-induced pathogenesis. The apparent specificity and clinical safety observed here for both IDC13 and IDC78 strongly support further assessment of inhibitors of SR protein splicing factors as a new class of antiretroviral therapeutic agents.
Protection against retrovirus pathogenesis by SR protein inhibitors
Keriel, A.; Mahuteau-Betzer, F.; Jacquet, C.; Plays, M.; Grierson, D.; Sitbon*, M.; Tazi*, J.
2009 / vol 4 / pages e4533