Background: Zika virus (ZIKV) infection has been associated with microcephaly in infants. Currently there is no treatment or vaccine. Here we explore the use of a morpholino oligonucleotide targeted to the 5′ untranslated region (5′-UTR) of the ZIKV RNA to prevent ZIKV replication. Methods: Morpholino DWK-1 inhibition of ZIKV replication in human glomerular podocytes was examined by qRT-PCR, reduction in ZIKV genome copy number, western blot analysis, immunofluorescence and proinflammatory cytokine gene expression. Results: Podocytes pretreated with DWK-1 showed reduced levels of both viral mRNA and ZIKV E protein expression compared to controls. We observed suppression in proinflammatory gene expression for IFN-β (interferon β) RANTES (regulated on activation, normal T cell expressed and secreted), MIP-1α (macrophage inflammatory protein-1α), TNF-α (tumor necrosis factor-α) and IL1-α (interleukin 1-α) in ZIKV-infected podocytes pretreated with DWK-1. Conclusions: Morpholino DWK-1 targeting the ZIKV 5′-UTR effectively inhibits ZIKV replication and suppresses ZIKV-induced proinflammatory gene expression.
- Zika virus
ASJC Scopus subject areas