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Human and viral nucleoside/nucleotide kinases involved in antiviral drug activation: structural and catalytic properties

Human and viral nucleoside/nucleotide kinases involved in antiviral drug activation: structural and catalytic properties

Antiviral Research 86(1): 101-120

Antiviral nucleoside and nucleotide analogs, essential for the treatment of viral infections in the absence of efficient vaccines, are prodrug forms of the active compounds that target the viral DNA polymerase or reverse transcriptase. The activation process requires several successive phosphorylation steps catalyzed by different kinases, which are present in the host cell or encoded by some of the viruses. These activation reactions often are rate-limiting steps and are thus open to improvement. We review here the structural and enzymatic properties of the enzymes that carry out the activation of analogs used in therapy against human immunodeficiency virus and against DNA viruses such as hepatitis B, herpes and poxviruses. Four major classes of drugs are considered: thymidine analogs, non-natural L-nucleosides, acyclic nucleoside analogs and acyclic nucleoside phosphonate analogs. Their efficiency as drugs depends both on the low specificity of the viral polymerase that allows their incorporation into DNA, but also on the ability of human/viral kinases to provide the activated triphosphate active forms at a high concentration at the right place. Two distinct modes of action are considered, depending on the origin of the kinase (human or viral). If the human kinases are house-keeping enzymes that belong to the metabolic salvage pathway, herpes and poxviruses encode for related enzymes. The structures, substrate specificities and catalytic properties of each of these kinases are discussed in relation to drug activation.

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Accession: 053605776

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PMID: 20417378

DOI: 10.1016/j.antiviral.2010.02.001

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