In Vitro and In Vivo Activity, Tolerability, and Mechanism of Action of BX795 as an Antiviral against Herpes Simplex Virus 2 Genital Infection

Herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) causes recurrent lesions in the anogenital area that may be transmitted through sexual encounters. Nucleoside analogs, such as acyclovir (ACV), are currently prescribed clinically to curb this infection. However, in some cases, reduced efficacy has been observed due to the emergence of resistance against these drugs. In our previous study, we reported the discovery of a novel anti-HSV-1 small molecule, BX795, which was originally used as an inhibitor of TANK-binding kinase 1 (TBK1). In this study, we report the antiviral efficacy of BX795 on HSV-2 infection in vaginal epithelial cells in vitro at 10 μM and in vivo at 50 μM. Additionally, through biochemical assays in vitro and histopathology in vivo, we show the tolerability of BX795 in vaginal epithelial cells at concentrations as high as 80 μM. Our investigations also revealed that the mechanism of action of BX795 antiviral activity stems from the reduction of viral protein translation via inhibition of protein kinase B phosphorylation. Finally, using a murine model of vaginal infection, we show that topical therapy using 50 μM BX795 is well tolerated and efficacious in controlling HSV-2 replication.

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S1274 BX-795 BX-795 is a potent and specific PDK1 inhibitor with IC50 of 6 nM, 140- and 1600-fold more selective for PDK1 than PKA and PKC in cell-free assays, respectively. Meanwhile, in comparison to GSK3β more than 100-fold selectivity observed for PDK1. BX-795 modulates autophagy via inhibiting ULK1. (53) (4)

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