Antiviral activities and applications of ribosomally synthesized and post-translationally modified peptides (RiPPs).

Affiliation

Fu Y(1), Jaarsma AH(1)(2), Kuipers OP(3).
Author information:
(1)Department of Molecular Genetics, Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology Institute, University of Groningen, 9747 AG, Groningen, The Netherlands.
(2)Department of Environmental Science, Aarhus University, 4000, Roskilde, Denmark.
(3)Department of Molecular Genetics, Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology Institute, University of Groningen, 9747 AG, Groningen, The Netherlands. [Email]

Abstract

The emergence and re-emergence of viral epidemics and the risks of antiviral drug resistance are a serious threat to global public health. New options to supplement or replace currently used drugs for antiviral therapy are urgently needed. The research in the field of ribosomally synthesized and post-translationally modified peptides (RiPPs) has been booming in the last few decades, in particular in view of their strong antimicrobial activities and high stability. The RiPPs with antiviral activity, especially those against enveloped viruses, are now also gaining more interest. RiPPs have a number of advantages over small molecule drugs in terms of specificity and affinity for targets, and over protein-based drugs in terms of cellular penetrability, stability and size. Moreover, the great engineering potential of RiPPs provides an efficient way to optimize them as potent antiviral drugs candidates. These intrinsic advantages underscore the good therapeutic prospects of RiPPs in viral treatment. With the aim to highlight the underrated antiviral potential of RiPPs and explore their development as antiviral drugs, we review the current literature describing the antiviral activities and mechanisms of action of RiPPs, discussing the ongoing efforts to improve their antiviral potential and demonstrate their suitability as antiviral therapeutics. We propose that antiviral RiPPs may overcome the limits of peptide-based antiviral therapy, providing an innovative option for the treatment of viral disease.