New Broad-spectrum antiviral agents open the way to a single drug effective against the most dangerous viruses

The real possibility of a revolutionary approach to new-generation antivirals demonstrated by a study of the University of Siena and the Italian CNR.
A single drug against all viral infections, capable of hitting the protein that the virus uses to multiply. And this is the goal that will be made possible thanks to a study conducted in collaboration between the University of Siena and the CNR, which has identified new molecules capable of inhibiting the human protein DDX3. The research, conducted by Professor Maurizio Botta from the Department of Biotechnology, Chemistry and Pharmacy of the University of Siena and Professor Giovanni Maga Institute of Molecular Genetics of "Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche" (CNR) in Pavia, has just been published by the prestigious American journal PNAS - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in a paper entitled "Human DDX3 protein is a valuable target to develop broad spectrum antiviral agents".

The work has been conducted in collaboration with Maurizio Zazzi (University of Siena), Maurizio Sanguinetti (Catholic University of Rome), Miguel Martinez e Jose Estè (IrsiCaixa, Hospital Universitari Germans Trias i Pujol Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona) and professor Andreas Meyerhans (Department of Experimental and Health Sciences, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona) and has been funded by Regione Toscana, First Health Pharmaceutical B.V., MIUR, Dario Fo and Franca Rame Foundation.

Brai A, Fazi R, Tintori C, Zamperini C, Bugli F, Sanguinetti M, Stigliano E, Este' J, Badia R, Franco S, Martinez MA, Martinez JP, Meyerhans A, Saladini F, Zazzi M, Garbelli A, Maga G, and Botta M. Human DDX3 protein is a valuable target to develop broad spectrum antiviral agents. PNAS 2016, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1522987113