Inhibition of Simian virus 40 large T antigen helicase activity by fluoroquinolones

Document Type



Biological and Biomedical Sciences


Background: Fluoroquinolones represent a potent group of antibiotics that inhibit bacterial DNA replication by targeting the essential bacterial enzymes gyrase and topoisomerase IV. Inhibition of gyrase activity by quinolones involves the interaction of these drugs with the helicase component of bacterial gyrase. DNA tumour viruses also encode helicases that are essential for their DNA replication in the host.Methods: In this study we have evaluated the effect of fluoroquinolones on viral DNA replication using the DNA tumour virus Simian virus 40 (SV40) as our model. Four different fluoroquinolones, namely, levofloxacin, trovafloxacin, ciprofloxacin and ofloxacin, were tested for their ability to inhibit viral DNA replication.Results: We show here that all four quinolones tested were effective in the inhibition of SV40 plaque formation and DNA replication in CV1-P cells. In addition, we found that each of these quinolones was inhibitory to the helicase activity of SV40 large tumour antigen.CONCLUSIONS: Fluoroquinolones and their derivates may therefore be useful in the treatment and/or prevention of infection by SV40-homologous human DNA viruses that encode helicase activity for their survival.


Antiviral Therapy