Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) spreads and establishes a persistent infection within a host by stimulating the survival of carrier myeloid cells via the upregulation of Mcl-1, an antiapoptotic member of the Bcl-2 family of proteins. However, the lack of potent Mcl-1-specific inhibitors and a targetable delivery system has limited the ability to exploit Mcl-1 as a therapeutic strategy to eliminate HCMV-infected monocytes. In this study, we found a lead compound from a novel class of Mcl-1 small-molecule inhibitors rapidly induced death of HCMV-infected monocytes. Moreover, encapsulation of Mcl-1 antagonists into myeloid cell-targeting nanoparticles was able to selectively increase the delivery of inhibitors into HCMV-activated monocytes, thereby amplifying their potency. Our study demonstrates the potential use of nanotechnology to target Mcl-1 small-molecule inhibitors to HCMV-infected monocytes.
Keywords: Cytomegalovirus; Monocytes; Myeloid cell leukemia 1; Nanoparticles; Small-molecule inhibitor.
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