DNAzyme-mediated inhibition of Japanese encephalitis virus replication in mouse brain

Appaiahgari, Mohan Babu ; Vrati, Sudhanshu (2007) DNAzyme-mediated inhibition of Japanese encephalitis virus replication in mouse brain Molecular Therapy, 15 (9). pp. 1593-1599. ISSN 1525-0016

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Official URL: http://www.nature.com/mt/journal/v15/n9/full/63002...

Related URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/sj.mt.6300231


Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) is an arthropod-borne flavivirus with a single-stranded RNA genome containing non-coding regions (NCRs) at its 5' and 3'-ends. The NCRs have flavivirus-conserved sequences that are important for virus replication. Here we describe DNAzymes (Dzs) that cleave the RNA sequence of the 3'-NCR of JEV genome in vitro. The nuclease-resistant Dzs, containing phosphorothioate linkages, were efficiently taken up by mouse neuronal and glial cells, and addition of a continuous stretch of 10 guanosine residues (poly-(G)10) to the 3'-end of a Dz led to its enhanced delivery to cells containing scavenger receptors (ScRs). These novel Dzs inhibited JEV replication in cultured mouse cells of neuronal and macrophage origin. JEV is a neurotropic virus that actively replicates in mouse brain. Here we show that intra-cerebral (i.c.) administration of a poly-(G)10-tethered, phosphorothioated Dz in JEV-infected mice led to more than 99.99% inhibition of virus replication in brain, resulting in a dose-dependent extended lifespan or complete recovery of the infected animals. This is the first report of in vivo application of a Dz to control a virus infection in an animal model.

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