Identification and characterization of two conserved G-quadruplex forming motifs in the Nipah virus genome and their interaction with G-quadruplex specific ligands
The G-quadruplex (GQ) motifs are considered as potential drug-target sites for several human pathogenic viruses such as Zika, Hepatitis, Ebola, and Human Herpesviruses. The recent outbreaks of Nipah virus (NiV) in India, the highly fatal emerging zoonotic virus is a potential threat to global health security as no anti-viral drug or vaccine in currently available. Therefore, here in the present study, we sought to assess the ability of the putative G-quadruplex forming sequences in the NiV genome to form G-quadruplex structures and act as targets for anti-viral compounds. Bioinformatics analysis underpinned by various biophysical and biochemical techniques (such as NMR, CD, EMSA, DMS footprinting assay) confirmed the presence of two highly conserved G-quadruplex forming sequences (HGQs) in the G and L genes of NiV. These genes encode the cell attachment glycoprotein and RNA-dependent RNA polymerase, respectively and are essential for the virus entry and replication within the host cell. It remains possible that stabilization of these HGQs by the known G-quadruplex binding ligands like TMPyP4 and Braco-19 represents a promising strategy to inhibit the expression of the HGQ harboring genes and thereby stop the viral entry and replication inside the host cell. Accordingly, we report for the first time, that HGQs in Nipah virus genome are targets for G-quadruplex specific ligands; therefore, could serve as potential targets for anti-viral therapy.
Circular dichroism, G-quadruplex structure, Chemical stability, Biochemistry