How does zinc inhibit viral replication?

1 Answer
Nov 17, 2016

Zinc ejectors ( Zinc finger inhibitors ) are substances or compounds that interact adversely with zinc fingers and cause them to release zinc from its binding site.


Zinc fingers are relatively small protein motifs that contain multiple finger like protrusions that make tandem contacts with their target molecules.

Zinc finger inhibitors are typically used to combat HIV. Most HIV treatments usually rely on targeting reverse transcriptases and proteases.

The HIV nucleo capsid protein is targeted by zinc. The protein helps to integrate the viral RNA into budding virions and is closely involved in the replication of HIV 1 in both the early phase and late phase. These processes play critical roles in replication of HIV 1 .

Thus by inhibiting the function of the nucleo capsid protein , the viral replication is affected and a non - functional virus that is unable to infect its host is produced.