Targeting endosomal acidification by chloroquine analogs as a promising strategy for the treatment of emerging viral diseases

Pharmacol Res Perspect. 2017 Jan 23;5(1):e00293. doi: 10.1002/prp2.293. eCollection 2017 Feb.


Emerging viruses such as HIV, dengue, influenza A, SARS coronavirus, Ebola, and other viruses pose a significant threat to human health. Majority of these viruses are responsible for the outbreaks of pathogenic lethal infections. To date, there are no effective therapeutic strategies available for the prophylaxis and treatment of these infections. Chloroquine analogs have been used for decades as the primary and most successful drugs against malaria. Concomitant with the emergence of chloroquine-resistant Plasmodium strains and a subsequent decrease in the use as antimalarial drugs, other applications of the analogs have been investigated. Since the analogs have interesting biochemical properties, these drugs are found to be effective against a wide variety of viral infections. As antiviral action, the analogs have been shown to inhibit acidification of endosome during the events of replication and infection. Moreover, immunomodulatory effects of analogs have been beneficial to patients with severe inflammatory complications of several viral diseases. Interestingly, one of the successful targeting strategies is the inhibition of HIV replication by the analogs in vitro which are being tested in several clinical trials. This review focuses on the potentialities of chloroquine analogs for the treatment of endosomal low pH dependent emerging viral diseases.

Keywords: Chloroquine analogs; antiviral actions; endosomal pH and viral replication.

Publication types

  • Review