Current options for preventing or treating influenza are still limited, and new treatments for influenza viral infection are urgently needed. In the present study, we serendipitously found that a small-molecule inhibitor (AG1478), previously used for epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibition, demonstrated a potent activity against influenza both in vitro and in vivo. Surprisingly, the antiviral effect of AG1478 was not mediated by its EGFR inhibitory activity, as influenza virus was insensitive to EGFR blockade by other EGFR inhibitors or by siRNA knockdown of EGFR. Its antiviral activity was also interferon independent as demonstrated by a Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) knockout approach. Instead, AG1478 was found to target the Golgi-specific brefeldin A-resistance guanine nucleotide exchange factor 1 (GBF1)– ADP-ribosylation factor 1 (ARF1) system by reversibly inhibiting GBF1 activity and disrupting its Golgi-cytoplasmic trafficking. Compared to known GBF1 inhibitors, AG1478 demonstrated lower cellular toxicity and better preservation of Golgi structure. Furthermore, GBF1 was found to interact with a specific set of viral proteins including M1, NP, and PA. Additionally, the alternation of GBF1 distribution induced by AG1478 treatment disrupted these interactions. Because targeting host factors, instead of the viral component, imposes a higher barrier for developing resistance, GBF1 modulation may be an effective approach to treat influenza infection.
- epithelial cells
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Computer Science Applications
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Organic Chemistry
- Inorganic Chemistry