Progression of Antiviral Agents Targeting Viral Polymerases

Molecules. 2022 Oct 29;27(21):7370. doi: 10.3390/molecules27217370.


Viral DNA and RNA polymerases are two kinds of very important enzymes that synthesize the genetic materials of the virus itself, and they have become extremely favorable targets for the development of antiviral drugs because of their relatively conserved characteristics. There are many similarities in the structure and function of different viral polymerases, so inhibitors designed for a certain viral polymerase have acted as effective universal inhibitors on other types of viruses. The present review describes the development of classical antiviral drugs targeting polymerases, summarizes a variety of viral polymerase inhibitors from the perspective of chemically synthesized drugs and natural product drugs, describes novel approaches, and proposes promising development strategies for antiviral drugs.

Keywords: antiviral drugs; inhibitors; natural products; viral DNA and RNA polymerase.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antiviral Agents* / pharmacology
  • DNA-Directed RNA Polymerases*


  • Antiviral Agents
  • DNA-Directed RNA Polymerases

Grant support

This manuscript was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31871281), the Scientific Research Foundation for Advanced Talents of Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and the Shanghai Municipal Health Commission (2020XGKY12).