Broad-Range Antiviral Activity of Hydrogen Sulfide Against Highly Pathogenic RNA Viruses

Nikolay Bazhanov, Olivier Escaffre, Alexander N. Freiberg, Roberto P. Garofalo, Antonella Casola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Hydrogen sulfide is an important endogenous mediator that has been the focus of intense investigation in the past few years, leading to the discovery of its role in vasoactive, cytoprotective and anti-inflammatory responses. Recently, we made a critical observation that H 2 S also has a protective role in paramyxovirus infection by modulating inflammatory responses and viral replication. In this study we tested the antiviral and anti-inflammatory activity of the H 2 S slow-releasing donor GYY4137 on enveloped RNA viruses from Ortho-, Filo-, Flavi-and Bunyavirus families, for which there is no FDA-Approved vaccine or therapeutic available, with the exception of influenza. We found that GYY4137 significantly reduced replication of all tested viruses. In a model of influenza infection, GYY4137 treatment was associated with decreased expression of viral proteins and mRNA, suggesting inhibition of an early step of replication. The antiviral activity coincided with the decrease of viral-induced pro-inflammatory mediators and viral-induced nuclear translocation of transcription factors from Nuclear Factor (NF)-kB and Interferon Regulatory Factor families. In conclusion, increasing cellular H 2 S is associated with significant antiviral activity against a broad range of emerging enveloped RNA viruses, and should be further explored as potential therapeutic approach in relevant preclinical models of viral infections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number41029
JournalScientific reports
StatePublished - Jan 20 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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