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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

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.[1]


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