Novel polymeric inhibitors of human coronavirus NL63

Justyna Ciejka 1Aleksandra Milewska 2Kamil K. Kamiński 1Anna Karewicz 1Dorota Bielska 1Krzysztof Szczubiałka 1Krzysztof Pyrć 2Maria Nowakowska 1Jan Potempa 2

1. Jagiellonian University, Faculty of Chemistry, Ingardena 3, Kraków 30-060, Poland
2. Jagiellonian University, Faculty of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Biotechnology, Kraków 30-387, Poland


Human coronavirus NL63 (HCoV-NL63) is one of the most important pathogens which may cause a common cold and severe upper and lower respiratory tract diseases. It is estimated that HCoV-NL63 causes 1-10% of all respiratory infections per year, especially in winter and early spring. Thus, there is a need to obtain more effective methods of preventing and treating these infections.

The aim of this study was to develop and explore anticoronaviral activity of polymer-based compounds. Four polycations - a cationically modified chitosan derivative (HTCC), hydrophobically-modified HTCC, poly(allylamine hydrochloride), and cationically modified polyvinyl alcohol were investigated. In order to appropriately evaluate the inhibitory activity of the tested polymers there was performed in vitro study (LLC-MK2 cells).  The cytopathic effect (CPE) was correlated with a quantitative RT-PCR based assay. The cytotoxicity was examined by an XTT assay and a Neutral Red assay.

The results show that cationically modified polymers are effective inhibitors of HCoV-NL63 replication. A cationically modified chitosan derivative HTCC seems to be the best inhibitor of replication of HCoV-NL63 at non-toxic concentrations. Non modified polymers (chitosan, polyvinyl alcohol) did not show any antiviral properties.


This work was in supported by the grant from Foundation for Polish Science Team Programme cofinanced by the EU European Regional Development Fund, PolyMed, TEAM/2008-2/6, the Ministry of Scientific Research, Poland (0095/B/P01/2009/37 and N N204 151336), Iuventus Plus grant from the Ministry of Science and Higher Education, Poland (IP 2010 033870) (KP) and Foundation for Polish Science within the Homing Programme. The Faculty of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Biotechnology of the Jagiellonian University is a beneficiary of the structural funds from the European Union (grant No: POIG.02.01.00-12-064/08 – “Molecular biotechnology for health”).

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Presentation: Poster at Nano-Biotechnologia PL, by Justyna Ciejka
See On-line Journal of Nano-Biotechnologia PL

Submitted: 2012-06-28 16:47
Revised:   2012-08-01 09:47
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