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Inhibitors of thymidylate synthase and dihydrofolate reductase potentiate the antiviral effect of acyclovir.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Antiviral Research
0166-3542
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
20
Issue
3
Pages
249–259
Identifiers
PMID: 8385896
Source
Medline

Abstract

In cells infected with herpes simplex virus type 1, intracellular dNTP pools increased markedly. Treatment of these cells with 3 microM acyclovir resulted in an additional expansion in pyrimidine deoxyribonucleoside triphosphate pools with dTTP increasing 32-fold and dCTP 8-fold. Both thymidine and deoxycytidine, however, compete with acyclovir for phosphorylation by the viral pyrimidine deoxyribonucleoside kinase and thus reduce the amount of drug that is anabolized to the active form. Theoretically, agents which inhibit thymidylate synthase or dihydrofolate reductase should reduce intracellular pools of thymidine, resulting in the potentiation of the antiviral effects of acyclovir. We explored this strategy by quantitating the synergy produced by combinations of acyclovir and other drugs using three-dimensional dose-response surface methodology (MacSynergy II). Significant synergy was seen with both 5-FdUrd and methotrexate whereas BrVdUrd, 5-CldUrd, 5-IdUrd, and 5-BrdUrd exhibited little to no synergistic activity. It is suggested that inhibitors of thymidylate synthase and dihydrofolate reductase warrant further exploration as potentiators of acyclovir.

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