Introduction: Infectious pancreatic necrosis virus (IPNV) causes serious losses in several fish species of commercial interest. IPNV is a non-enveloped double-stranded RNA virus with a genome consisting of two segments A and B. Segment B codes for the VP1 protein, a non-canonical RNA-dependent RNA polymerase that can be found both in its free form and linked to the end of genomic RNA, an essential enzyme for IPNV replication.
Materials and methods: We take advantage of the knowledge over the allosteric binding site described on the surface of the thumb domain of Hepatitis C virus (HCV) polymerase to design new non-nucleoside inhibitors against the IPNV VP1 polymerase.
Results: Molecular docking techniques have been used to screen a chemical library of 23,760 compounds over a defined cavity in the surface of the thumb domain. Additional ADMET (absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion, and toxicity) filter criteria has been applied.
Conclusion: We select two sets of 9 and 50 inhibitor candidates against the polymerases of HCV and IPNV, respectively. Two non-toxic compounds have been tested in vitro with antiviral capacity against IPNV Sp and LWVRT60 strains in the low µM range with different activity depending on the IPNV strain used.
Keywords: HCV; IPNV; RdRp; antiviral drugs; molecular docking; non-nucleoside inhibitors.