Generation of neutralizing aptamers against herpes simplex virus type 2: potential components of multivalent microbicides

J Gen Virol. 2011 Jul;92(Pt 7):1493-1499. doi: 10.1099/vir.0.030601-0. Epub 2011 Apr 6.


The prophylactic use of topical antiviral agents has recently been validated by the reduction in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) type 1 infection incidence seen using tonofovir-containing microbicides. In order to develop a wide-spectrum microbicide to prevent infection with a wide range of sexually transmitted viruses, we have previously reported the development of HIV-neutralizing aptamers and here report the isolation and characterization of aptamers that neutralize herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2). These aptamers bind the envelope glycoprotein (gD), are potent (IC(50) of 20-50 nM) and are able to block infection pathways dependent on both major entry receptors, Nectin1 and HVEM. Structural analysis and mutagenesis of these aptamers reveal a core specificity element that could provide the basis for pharmaceutical development. As HSV-2 is a major risk factor for the acquisition of HIV-1, a microbicide capable of preventing HSV-2 infection would not only reduce the morbidity associated with HSV-2, but also that derived from HIV-1.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antiviral Agents / chemistry
  • Antiviral Agents / pharmacology*
  • Aptamers, Nucleotide / chemistry
  • Aptamers, Nucleotide / pharmacology*
  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / metabolism
  • Herpes Simplex / drug therapy
  • Herpes Simplex / virology*
  • Herpesvirus 1, Human / drug effects
  • Herpesvirus 1, Human / genetics
  • Herpesvirus 1, Human / physiology
  • Herpesvirus 2, Human / drug effects*
  • Herpesvirus 2, Human / genetics
  • Herpesvirus 2, Human / physiology
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nectins


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Aptamers, Nucleotide
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • NECTIN1 protein, human
  • Nectins