On the mechanism of selective inhibition of herpesvirus replication by (E)-5-(2-bromovinyl)-2'-deoxyuridine

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1981 May;78(5):2698-702. doi: 10.1073/pnas.78.5.2698.


Bromovinyldeoxyuridine (BVdUrd) is a potent antiherpesvirus compound with low cytotoxicity. To gain an insight into its selectivity and mechanism of inhibition, we chemically synthesized the 5'-triphosphate of BVdUrd, BVdUTP, and tested its effect on the activities of DNA polymerases [DNA nucleotidyltransferase (DNA directed), EC] of two herpesviruses--i.e., herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)--as well as cellular DNA polymerases alpha, beta, and gamma. The effects on the DNA polymerases were determined under assay conditions optimal for the individual polymerases. We found that the BVdUTP was considerably more inhibityory to the utilization of dTTP by the HSV-1 DNA polymerase then by the cellular DNA polymerases. For instance, as little as 1 microM BVdUTP inhibited the utilization of dTTP by HSV-1 DNA polymerase 50%, whereas the same concentration inhibited the DNA polymerase alpha and the DNA polymerase beta activities only 9% and 3%, respectively. The BVdUTP inhibited DNA synthesis by competing with the natural substrate, dTTP. The Km for dTTP and the Ki for the BVdUTP of the HSV-1 DNA polymerase were 0.66 and 0.25 microM, respectively. Kinetic analyses with the DNA polymerases alpha and beta and the EBV DNA polymerase also reflected a similar difference in sensitivity between the HSV-1 enzyme and other enzymes. Increasing the concentration of either the DNA template or the enzyme in the reaction mixture did not bring about a significant change in the extent of inhibition. Preincubation of the inhibitor with the enzyme was not necessary for inhibition. Studies on time course of inhibition revealed that the compound is inhibitory even after the initiation of DNA synthesis. These studies indicate that the ability of BVdUTP to preferentially inhibit the HSV-1 DNA polymerase may contribute towards its selective inhibition of the viral DNA replication in infected cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Antiviral Agents / pharmacology*
  • Bromodeoxyuridine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Bromodeoxyuridine / pharmacology
  • Carcinoma
  • Cell Line
  • DNA Polymerase II / metabolism
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Kinetics
  • Mouth Neoplasms
  • Simplexvirus / drug effects
  • Simplexvirus / enzymology*
  • Virus Replication / drug effects


  • Antiviral Agents
  • brivudine
  • DNA Polymerase II
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase
  • Bromodeoxyuridine