Cyclosporin A inhibits the replication of diverse coronaviruses

J Gen Virol. 2011 Nov;92(Pt 11):2542-2548. doi: 10.1099/vir.0.034983-0. Epub 2011 Jul 13.


Low micromolar, non-cytotoxic concentrations of cyclosporin A (CsA) strongly affected the replication of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV), human coronavirus 229E and mouse hepatitis virus in cell culture, as was evident from the strong inhibition of GFP reporter gene expression and a reduction of up to 4 logs in progeny titres. Upon high-multiplicity infection, CsA treatment rendered SARS-CoV RNA and protein synthesis almost undetectable, suggesting an early block in replication. siRNA-mediated knockdown of the expression of the prominent CsA targets cyclophilin A and B did not affect SARS-CoV replication, suggesting either that these specific cyclophilin family members are dispensable or that the reduced expression levels suffice to support replication.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antiviral Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cell Line
  • Coronavirus 229E, Human / drug effects*
  • Coronavirus 229E, Human / growth & development
  • Cyclosporine / pharmacology*
  • Genes, Reporter
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / genetics
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Murine hepatitis virus / drug effects*
  • Murine hepatitis virus / growth & development
  • Severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus / drug effects*
  • Severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus / growth & development
  • Viral Load
  • Virus Replication / drug effects


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • Cyclosporine