Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV), also referred to as human herpesvirus-5 (HHV-5), can cause serious and even fatal disease in immunocompromised individuals and newborns, namely individuals with AIDS, solid organ transplant recipients, chemotherapy patients and recipients of bone marrow and stem cell transplants. HCMV is a ubiquitous virus found throughout all geographic regions and socioeconomic groups, infecting greater than 50% of adults in industrialized countries and as many as 100% in developing countries. Although current therapeutics improves clinical outcomes, they are limited by toxicity, intravenous infusion and the development of resistance by the virus. Thus, there is a pressing need to develop novel therapeutics to prevent HCMV infections with concomitant organ toxicity. Formation of the cytoplasmic viral assembly compartment (cVAC) is an important step for efficient HCMV assembly. To do this, the virus must alter and repurpose the normal cellular balance of membrane and protein flux, a process that is not well understood. We have identified a compound Retro94, which potently inhibits production of infectious HCMV virions in cells by operating against a host cell process, rather than directly targeting the virus. The presence of Retro94 results in the severely impaired production of infectious virions, as great as 5 logs (99-99.99%). Here we discuss in vitro, in vivo, stability, and binding study of Retro94. Overall, our findings have identified Retro94, as novel agent that affects key cellular trafficking factors important for supporting HCMV infection.

Citation Format: Dhimant H. Desai, Linda Cruz, Nicholas T. Streck, Trisha D. Desai, Aron Lukacher, Shantu G. Amin, Nicholas J. Buchkovich. Potent inhibition of HCMV by modulating the cellular SNARE syntaxin 5 [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2017; 2017 Apr 1-5; Washington, DC. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2017;77(13 Suppl):Abstract nr 1126. doi:10.1158/1538-7445.AM2017-1126