Inactivation of Dengue and Yellow Fever viruses by heme, cobalt-protoporphyrin IX and tin-protoporphyrin IX

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Abstract

Aims:

To investigate the effect of heme, cobalt-protoporphyrin IX and tin-protoporphyrin IX (CoPPIX and SnPPIX), macrocyclic structures composed by a tetrapyrrole ring with a central metallic ion, on Dengue Virus (DENV) and Yellow Fever Virus (YFV) infection.

Methods and Results:

Treatment of HepG2 cells with heme, CoPPIX and SnPPIX after DENV infection reduced infectious particles without affecting viral RNA contents in infected cells. The reduction of viral load occurs only with the direct contact of DENV with porphyrins, suggesting a direct effect on viral particles. Previously incubation of DENV and YFV with heme, CoPPIX and SnPPIX resulted in viral particles inactivation in a dose-dependent manner. Biliverdin, a noncyclical porphyrin, was unable to inactivate the viruses tested. Infection of HepG2 cells with porphyrin-pretreated DENV2 results in a reduced or abolished viral protein synthesis, RNA replication and cell death. Treatment of HepG2 or THP-1 cell lineage with heme or CoPPIX after DENV infection with a very low MOI resulted in a decreased DENV replication and protection from death.

Conclusions:

Heme, CoPPIX and SnPPIX possess a marked ability to inactivate DENV and YFV, impairing its ability to infect and induce cytopathic effects on target cells.

Significance and Impact of the Study:

These results open the possibility of therapeutic application of porphyrins or their use as models to design new antiviral drugs against DENV and YFV.

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