Infection by one of the 4 distinct serotypes of dengue virus (DENV) threatens >40% of the world's population, with no efficacious vaccine or antiviral agent currently available. DENV replication through the virus-encoded nonstructural protein (NS) 5 protein occurs in the infected cell cytoplasm, but NS5 from DENV2 has thus far been shown to localize strongly in the nucleus throughout infection. Here we use specific antibodies cross-reactive with NS5 from DENV1-4 to demonstrate nuclear localization of NS5 from all DENV serotypes for the first time in both infected as well as transfected cells, although to differing extents. The small-molecule inhibitor Ivermectin was inhibitory towards both DENV 1 and 2 NS5 interaction with its nuclear transporter importin α/β in vitro, and protected against infection from DENV1-4. Ivermectin thus has potential in the clinical setting as a dengue antiviral.
Keywords: Dengue; Dengue virus; Flavivirus; Ivermectin; Nonstructural protein-5; Nuclear import.
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