Filovirus proteins for antiviral drug discovery: A structure/function analysis of surface glycoproteins and virus entry

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This review focuses on the recent progress in our understanding of filovirus protein structure/function and its impact on antiviral research. Here we focus on the surface glycoprotein GP1,2 and its different roles in filovirus entry. We first describe the latest advances on the characterization of GP gene-overlapping proteins sGP, ssGP and Δ-peptide. Then, we compare filovirus surface GP1,2 proteins in terms of structure, synthesis and function. As they bear potential in drug-design, the discovery of small organic compounds inhibiting filovirus entry is a currently very active field. Although it is at an early stage, the development of antiviral drugs against Ebola and Marburg virus entry might prove essential to reduce outbreak-associated fatality rates through post-exposure treatment of both suspected and confirmed cases.

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