Suramin: A potent inhibitor of the reverse transcriptase of RNA tumor viruses

  • De Clercq E
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Suramin - a well-known antitrypanosomal agent - was found to exert a strong inhibitory effect on the RNA-directed DNA polymerase (reverse transcriptase) activity of several oncornaviruses such as Moloney murine leukemia virus, murine Rauscher leukemia viruses, Moloney murine sarcoma virus and avian myeloblastosis virus. Inhibition of enzyme activity was obtained with both endogenous viral RNA and (A)n· oligo(dT) as the templateprimer. Suramin effected a 50% inhibition of the reverse transcriptase activity of oncornaviruses at a concentration range of 0.1-1 μg/ml. In this aspect it compared favorably to ethidium bromide, another trypanocide drug which is considered as one of the most powerful inhibitors of oncornaviral DNA polymerases. The inhibition of reverse transcriptase activity by suramin was competitive with the template-primer, (A)n· oligo(dT), suggesting that the drug may interact with the template-primer binding site of the enzyme. © 1979.

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  • Erik De Clercq

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