Strigolactones for prevention and treatment of virus infections of herpesviridae family

Technology description

Herpesviruses are double stranded enveloped DNA viruses with icosahedral symmetry belonging to the Herpesviridae family. Most of herpesviruses are responsible for serious infections also in humans. First-line choice for treatment of herpes infections are nucleoside analogues (e.g. ganciclovir) which unfortunately may cause considerable toxicity to the host. In addition, treatment of congenitally infected newborns or transplanted recipients with ganciclovir or nucleoside analogues causes serious side effects due to high myelotoxicity that limits their employment significantly. Nucleoside analogues are also known to induce resistance mutations on genes coding for viral enzymes involved in DNA synthesis (e.g. UL54 orUL97 of HCMV). To this end, the identification of new cellular targets to block viral replication would allow to tackle the occurrence of genome mutations.
The objective of this invention is the identification of a new class of molecules endowed with the ability to inhibit the replication of viruses of the Herpesviridae family. We have indeed demonstrated that natural strigolactones (SLs), a class of signal molecules produced by the roots of most superior plants, as well as their synthetic derivatives, are characterized by a strong in vitro inhibitory activity against HCMV and related viruses.


Prevention and protection of CMV disease for:  

  • transplant recipients
  • pregnants
  • "pre-emptive therapy" of organ recipients
Key advantages
  • Higher specificity
  • Lower citotoxicity
  • Compounds of natural origin, to overcome antiviral drug resistance displayed by currently available compounds
Filing date and application number

Filing date: 08/10/2018

Application number: 102018000010142




Università degli Studi di Torino