Cystatin C, a human proteinase inhibitor, blocks replication of herpes simplex virus.Cystatin C is a human cysteine proteinase inhibitor present in extracellular fluids. Cystatin C and a tripeptide derivative (Z-LVG-CHN2) that mimics its proteinase-binding center, were tested for possible antiviral activity against herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV) and poliovirus type 1. Both recombinant cystatin C and Z-LVG-CHN2 displayed strong inhibitory effects on HSV replication, whereas no significant effect on poliovirus replication was seen. The molar concentration of cystatin C that gave total inhibition of HSV replication was lower than that of either Z-LVG-CHN2 or of acyclovir, the drug currently most used against HSV infections. These results suggest that cysteine proteinase inhibitors might play a physiological role as inhibitors of viral replication and that such proteinase inhibitors, or peptide derivatives that mimic their proteinase-binding centers, might be used as antiviral agents.
- Cystatin C, a human proteinase inhibitor, blocks replication of herpes simplex virus. Björck, L., Grubb, A., Kjellén, L. J. Virol. (1990) [Pubmed]