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Picornavirus family members cause disease in humans. Human rhinoviruses (RV), the main causative agents of the common cold, increase the severity of asthma and COPD; hence, effective agents against RVs are required. The 2A proteinase (2Apro), found in all enteroviruses, represents an attractive target; inactivating mutations in poliovirus 2Apro result in an extension of the VP1 protein preventing infectious virion assembly. Variations in sequence and substrate specificity on eIF4G isoforms between RV 2Apro of genetic groups A and B hinder 2Apro as drug targets. Here, we demonstrate that although RV-A2 and RV-B4 2Apro cleave the substrate GAB1 at different sites, the 2Apro from both groups cleave equally efficiently an artificial site containing P1 methionine. We determined the RV-A2 2Apro structure complexed with zVAM.fmk, containing P1 methionine. Analysis of this first 2Apro-inhibitor complex reveals a conserved hydrophobic P4 pocket among enteroviral 2Apro as a potential target for broad-spectrum anti-enteroviral inhibitors.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





128 - 141


Anti-viral agent, Cysteine proteinase, Fluoromethylketone inhibitor, Rhinovirus, Translation initiation, Virus-host interaction