DEAD-Box Helicase DDX3X as a Host Target against Emerging Viruses: New Insights for Medicinal Chemical Approaches

J Med Chem. 2022 Aug 11;65(15):10195-10216. doi: 10.1021/acs.jmedchem.2c00755. Epub 2022 Jul 28.


In recent years, globalization, global warming, and population aging have contributed to the spread of emerging viruses, such as coronaviruses (COVs), West Nile (WNV), Dengue (DENV), and Zika (ZIKV). The number of reported infections is increasing, and considering the high viral mutation rate, it is conceivable that it will increase significantly in the coming years. The risk caused by viruses is now more evident due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which highlighted the need to find new broad-spectrum antiviral agents able to tackle the present pandemic and future epidemics. DDX3X helicase is a host factor required for viral replication. Selective inhibitors have been identified and developed into broad-spectrum antivirals active against emerging pathogens, including SARS-CoV-2 and most importantly against drug-resistant strains. This perspective describes the inhibitors identified in the last years, highlighting their therapeutic potential as innovative broad-spectrum antivirals.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antiviral Agents / pharmacology
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use
  • COVID-19*
  • DEAD-box RNA Helicases
  • Humans
  • Pandemics
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Virus Replication
  • Viruses*
  • Zika Virus Infection*
  • Zika Virus*


  • Antiviral Agents
  • DDX3X protein, human
  • DEAD-box RNA Helicases