Of a series of carbocyclic analogs of adenosine, in which the ribose moiety was replaced by a cyclopentenyl ring, neplanocin A, or (-)-9-[trans-2, trans-3-dihydroxy-4-(hydroxymethyl)cyclopent-4-enyl]adenine proved particularly effective in inhibiting the multiplication of DNA viruses (i.e., vaccinia), (-)RNA viruses (i.e., parainfluenza, measles, and vesicular stomatitis), and double-stranded RNA viruses (i.e., reo) in vitro in cell culture. Depending on the cells used, the MIC of neplanocin A for these viruses ranged from 0.01 to 4 micrograms/ml, and depending on the parameter used to assess toxicity for the host cell, the specificity index of neplanocin A ranged from 50 to 4,000. As postulated before for other adenosine analogs, neplanocin A may owe its antiviral action to inhibition of S-adenosylhomocysteine hydrolase, hence perturbation of transmethylation reactions. In vivo, neplanocin A afforded only marginal protection against a lethal infection of mice with vesicular stomatitis virus
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