Zinc has antiviral activity against picornavirus infections associated with the common cold. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Antiviral activity of the zinc ionophores pyrithione and hinokitiol against picornavirus infections.
J Virol. 2009 Jan;83(1):58-64. Epub 2008 Oct 15. PMID: 18922875
We have discovered two metal ion binding compounds, pyrithione (PT) and hinokitiol (HK), that efficiently inhibit human rhinovirus, coxsackievirus, and mengovirus multiplication. Early stages of virus infection are unaffected by these compounds. However, the cleavage of the cellular eukaryotic translation initiation factor eIF4GI by the rhinoviral 2A protease was abolished in the presence of PT and HK. We further show that these compounds inhibit picornavirus replication by interfering with proper processing of the viral polyprotein. In addition, we provide evidence that these structurally unrelated compounds lead to a rapid import of extracellular zinc ions into cells. Imported Zn(2+) was found to be localized in punctate structures, as well as in mitochondria. The observed elevated level of zinc ions was reversible when the compounds were removed. As the antiviral activity of these compounds requires the continuous presence of the zinc ionophore PT, HK, or pyrrolidine-dithiocarbamate, the requirement for zinc ions for the antiviral activity is further substantiated. Therefore, an increase in intracellular zinc levels provides the basis for a new antipicornavirus mechanism.