Research ArticleVirology

An off-target effect of BX795 blocks herpes simplex virus type 1 infection of the eye

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Science Translational Medicine  14 Feb 2018:
Vol. 10, Issue 428, eaan5861
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aan5861

Herpes tanked by a kinase inhibitor

Interferon (IFN) responses are a cornerstone of antiviral immunity. As TANK-binding kinase 1 (TBK1) promotes IFN, Jaishankar et al. thought that using the TBK1 inhibitor BX795 would allow for increased herpes virus replication. Somewhat surprisingly, they found that this inhibitor reduced replication and may be a promising antiviral candidate. They tested BX795 in different herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) ocular infection models and examined the pathway through which it was working, which was not TBK1. BX795 may have advantages over traditional nucleoside analogs currently used to combat herpes infections and should be investigated further.

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