Searching for Blockers of Dengue and West Nile Virus Viroporins

Hiya Lahiri, Isaiah T. Arkin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Flavivirus infections, such as those caused by dengue and West Nile viruses, emerge as new challenges for the global healthcare sector. It has been found that these two viruses encode ion channels collectively termed viroporins. Therefore, drug molecules that block such ion-channel activity can serve as potential antiviral agents and may play a primary role in therapeutic purposes. We screened 2839 FDA-approved drugs and compounds in advanced experimental phases using three bacteria-based channel assays to identify such ion channel blockers. We primarily followed a negative genetic screen in which the channel is harmful to the bacteria due to excessive membrane permeabilization that can be relieved by a blocker. Subsequently, we cross-checked the outcome with a positive genetic screen and a pH-dependent assay. The following drugs exhibited potential blocker activities: plerixafor, streptomycin, tranexamic acid, CI-1040, glecaprevir, kasugamycin, and mesna were effective against dengue virus DP1. In contrast, idasanutlin, benzbromarone, 5-azacytidine, and plerixafor were effective against West Nile Virus MgM. These drugs can serve as future antiviral therapeutic agents following subsequent in vitro and in vivo efficacy studies.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number1750
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors.


  • antiviral drug
  • channel blocker
  • drug repurposing
  • ion channel


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