Membrane-disrupting agents that selectively target virus versus host membranes could potentially inhibit a broad-spectrum of enveloped viruses, but currently such antivirals are lacking. Here, we develop a nanodisc incorporated with a decoy virus receptor that inhibits virus infection. Mechanistically, nanodiscs carrying the viral receptor sialic acid bind to influenza virions and are co-endocytosed into host cells. At low pH in the endosome, the nanodiscs rupture the viral envelope, trapping viral RNAs inside the endolysosome for enzymatic decomposition. In contrast, liposomes containing a decoy receptor show weak antiviral activity due to the lack of membrane disruption. The nanodiscs inhibit influenza virus infection and reduce morbidity and mortality in a mouse model. Our results suggest a new class of antivirals applicable to other enveloped viruses that cause irreversible physical damage specifically to virus envelope by viruses’ own fusion machine. In conclusion, the lipid nanostructure provides another dimension for antiviral activity of decoy molecules.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)