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Peptide inhibitors against herpes simplex virus infections

Authors

  • Stefania Galdiero,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Pharmacy, University of Naples 'Federico II', Napoli, Italy
    2. Centro Interuniversitario di Ricerca sui Peptidi Bioattivi, University of Naples 'Federico II', Napoli, Italy
    3. Istituto di Biostrutture e Bioimmagini – CNR, Napoli, Italy
    • Correspondence to: Stefania Galdiero, Department of Pharmacy, University of Naples ‘Federico II’, Via Mezzocannone 16, 80134, Napoli, Italy. E-mail: stefania.galdiero@unina.it

      Massimiliano Galdiero, Department of Experimental Medicine, II University of Naples, Via De Crecchio 7, 80138, Napoli, Italy. E-mail: massimiliano.galdiero@unina2.it

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  • Annarita Falanga,

    1. Department of Pharmacy, University of Naples 'Federico II', Napoli, Italy
    2. Istituto di Biostrutture e Bioimmagini – CNR, Napoli, Italy
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  • Rossella Tarallo,

    1. Department of Pharmacy, University of Naples 'Federico II', Napoli, Italy
    2. Istituto di Biostrutture e Bioimmagini – CNR, Napoli, Italy
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  • Luigi Russo,

    1. Department of Experimental Medicine, II University of Naples, Napoli, Italy
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  • Emilia Galdiero,

    1. Department of Biostructural and Fisiological Science, University of Naples 'Federico II', Monte Sant'Angelo, Napoli, Italy
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  • Marco Cantisani,

    1. Department of Pharmacy, University of Naples 'Federico II', Napoli, Italy
    2. Centro Interuniversitario di Ricerca sui Peptidi Bioattivi, University of Naples 'Federico II', Napoli, Italy
    3. Istituto di Biostrutture e Bioimmagini – CNR, Napoli, Italy
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  • Giancarlo Morelli,

    1. Department of Pharmacy, University of Naples 'Federico II', Napoli, Italy
    2. Centro Interuniversitario di Ricerca sui Peptidi Bioattivi, University of Naples 'Federico II', Napoli, Italy
    3. Istituto di Biostrutture e Bioimmagini – CNR, Napoli, Italy
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  • Massimiliano Galdiero

    Corresponding author
    1. Centro Interuniversitario di Ricerca sui Peptidi Bioattivi, University of Naples 'Federico II', Napoli, Italy
    2. Department of Experimental Medicine, II University of Naples, Napoli, Italy
    • Correspondence to: Stefania Galdiero, Department of Pharmacy, University of Naples ‘Federico II’, Via Mezzocannone 16, 80134, Napoli, Italy. E-mail: stefania.galdiero@unina.it

      Massimiliano Galdiero, Department of Experimental Medicine, II University of Naples, Via De Crecchio 7, 80138, Napoli, Italy. E-mail: massimiliano.galdiero@unina2.it

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Abstract

Herpes simplex virus (HSV) is a significant human pathogen causing mucocutaneous lesions primarily in the oral or genital mucosa. Although acyclovir (ACV) and related nucleoside analogs provide successful treatment, HSV remains highly prevalent worldwide and is a major cofactor for the spread of human immunodeficiency virus. Encephalitis, meningitis, and blinding keratitis are among the most severe diseases caused by HSV. ACV resistance poses an important problem for immunocompromised patients and highlights the need for new safe and effective agents; therefore, the development of novel strategies to eradicate HSV is a global public health priority. Despite the continued global epidemic of HSV and extensive research, there have been few major breakthroughs in the treatment or prevention of the virus since the introduction of ACV in the 1980s. A therapeutic strategy at the moment not fully addressed is the use of small peptide molecules. These can be either modeled on viral proteins or derived from antimicrobial peptides. Any peptide that interrupts protein–protein or viral protein–host cell membrane interactions is potentially a novel antiviral drug and may be a useful tool for elucidating the mechanisms of viral entry. This review summarizes current knowledge and strategies in the development of synthetic and natural peptides to inhibit HSV infectivity. Copyright © 2013 European Peptide Society and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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