Ligand-based design of peptide entry inhibitors targeting the endosomal receptor binding site of filoviruses

Leah Liu Wang, Leslie Estrada, Joshua Wiggins, Manu Anantpadma, J. J. Patten, Robert A. Davey, Shi Hua Xiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Filoviruses enter cells through macropinocytosis and trafficking into the endosomes in which they bind to the receptor Niemann-Pick C1 protein (NPC1) for membrane fusion and entry into the cytoplasm. The endosomal receptor-binding is critical step for filovirus entry. Designing inhibitors to block receptor binding will prevent viral entry. Using available binding structural information from the co-crystal structures of the viral GP with the receptor NPC1 or with monoclonal antibodies, we have conducted structure-based design of peptide inhibitors to target the receptor binding site (RBS). The designed peptides were tested for their inhibition activity against pseudo-typed or replication-competent viruses in a cell-based assay. The results indicate that these peptides exhibited strong activities against both Ebola and Marburg virus infection. It is expected that these peptides can be further developed for therapeutic use to treat filovirus infection and combat the outbreaks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number105399
JournalAntiviral Research
StatePublished - Oct 2022


  • Ebola virus (EBOV)
  • Filovirus
  • Marburg virus (MARV)
  • Niemann-pick C1 receptor binding site (RBS)
  • Peptide entry inhibitor
  • Structure based design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Virology


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