Arbidol inhibits viral entry by interfering with clathrin-dependent trafficking

Antiviral Res. 2013 Oct;100(1):215-9. doi: 10.1016/j.antiviral.2013.08.008. Epub 2013 Aug 25.


Arbidol (ARB) is a broad-spectrum antiviral displaying activity against a number of enveloped and non-enveloped viruses. It was described as a viral entry inhibitor and shown to interact at the molecular level with lipid membranes and viral fusion glycoproteins to impede viral entry and fusion. However its mechanism of action at the cellular level remains unknown. Here, by using live-cell confocal imaging and the hepatitis C virus as a model virus, we show that ARB affects clathrin-mediated endocytosis by impeding dynamin-2-induced membrane scission. Moreover it induces the intracellular accumulation of clathrin-coated structures where viral particles are trapped. Collectively, our results shed light on the mechanistic aspects of ARB antiviral activity and suggest that ARB could prevent cell infection by viruses that enter through clathrin-mediated endocytosis.

Keywords: ARB; Arbidol; Broad spectrum antiviral; CCP; CCV; CME; Clc; Entry; HCV; HCV grown in cell culture; HCV pseudotyped particles; HCVcc; HCVpp; Hepatitis C virus; ISVP; MOI; Reovirus; Trf; VSV; Vesicular stomatitis virus; arbidol; clathrin light chain; clathrin-coated pit; clathrin-coated vesicle; clathrin-mediated endocytosis; hepatitis C virus; infectious subvirion particle; multiplicity of infection; transferrin; vesicular stomatitis virus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antiviral Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Clathrin / metabolism*
  • Down-Regulation / drug effects
  • Dynamin II / metabolism
  • Endocytosis / drug effects*
  • Hepacivirus / drug effects*
  • Hepacivirus / physiology
  • Hepatitis C / drug therapy
  • Hepatitis C / metabolism*
  • Hepatitis C / virology*
  • Humans
  • Indoles / pharmacology*
  • Protein Transport / drug effects
  • Virus Internalization / drug effects*


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Clathrin
  • Indoles
  • umifenovir
  • Dynamin II