chapter  3
30 Pages

Active Sites of the Animal Viruses: Potential Sites of Specific Chemotherapeutic Attack

ByWilliam M. Mitchell

This chapter examines the mechanisms by which viruses commandeer the metabolic machinery of susceptible cells and attempts to identify potential sites for the selective inhibition of viral life cycles. Although the main emphasis of this chapter is on the animal viruses, examples from the plant and bacterial viruses. The existence of active sites on functional virion proteins offers an approach to the design of chemotherapeutic agents of high virucidal activity and low host toxicity. The chapter also examines the functional events generally operative in a viral life cycle, and specific potential points of attack based on this functionality. It considers the chemical induction of host-mediated inhibition and the potential means of interruption of the consequences of viral expression of vertically transmitted viruses. The process of adsorption to a target cell represents a prime area for specific extracellular viral inhibition. The interferon system represents one or more cell-derived proteins that induce viral resistance in sensitive cells.