Translation of Mycobacterium survival strategy to develop a lipo-peptide based fusion inhibitor

26 Nov 2020
Tarafdar PK, Sardar A, Lahiri A, Kamble M and Mallick AI


The entry of enveloped viruses requires the fusion of viral and host cell membranes. An effective fusion inhibitor aiming at impeding such membrane fusion may emerge as a broad-spectrum antiviral agent against a wide range of viral infections. Mycobacterium survives inside the phagosome by inhibiting phagosome-lysosome fusion with the help of a coat protein coronin 1. Structural analysis of coronin 1 and other WD40-repeat protein suggest that the trp-asp (WD) sequence is placed at distorted β-meander motif (more exposed) in coronin 1. The unique structural feature of coronin 1 was explored to identify a simple lipo-peptide sequence (myr-WD), which effectively inhibits membrane fusion by modulating the interfacial order, water penetration, and surface potential. The mycobacterium inspired lipo-dipeptide was successfully tested to combat type 1 influenza virus (H1N1) and murine coronavirus infections as a 'potential broad-spectrum' antiviral agent.