Inhibition of ebola and marburg virus entry by G protein-coupled receptor antagonists

Han Cheng, Calli M. Lear-Rooney, Lisa Johansen, Elizabeth Varhegyi, Zheng W. Chen, Gene G. Olinger, Lijun Rong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Scopus citations


Filoviruses, consisting of Ebola virus (EBOV) and Marburg virus (MARV), are among the most lethal infectious threats to mankind. Infections by these viruses can cause severe hemorrhagic fevers in humans and nonhuman primates with high mortality rates. Since there is currently no vaccine or antiviral therapy approved for humans, there is an urgent need to develop prophylactic and therapeutic options for use during filoviral outbreaks and bioterrorist attacks. One of the ideal targets against filoviral infection and diseases is at the entry step, which is mediated by the filoviral glycoprotein (GP). In this report, we screened a chemical library of small molecules and identified numerous inhibitors, which are known G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) antagonists targeting different GPCRs, including histamine receptors, 5-HT (serotonin) receptors, muscarinic acetylcholine receptor, and adrenergic receptor. These inhibitors can effectively block replication of both infectious EBOV and MARV, indicating a broad antiviral activity of the GPCR antagonists. The time-of-addition experiment and microscopic studies suggest that GPCR antagonists block filoviral entry at a step following the initial attachment but prior to viral/cell membrane fusion. These results strongly suggest that GPCRs play a critical role in filoviral entry and GPCR antagonists can be developed as an effective anti-EBOV/MARV therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9932-9938
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number19
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology


Dive into the research topics of 'Inhibition of ebola and marburg virus entry by G protein-coupled receptor antagonists'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this