Double-Stranded RNA Activated Caspase Oligomerizer (DRACO): Design, Subcloning, and Antiviral Investigation

Document Type : Original Article


1 Applied Virology Research Center, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Anatomical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


Introduction: Antiviral therapy is an alternative for viral infection control when the virus is identified. As antiviral therapy has effectively used basic science to create very efficient treatments for severe viral infections, it is one of the most promising virology aspects. In the present work, a novel broad-spectrum antiviral method, dubbed Double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) Activated Caspase Oligomerizer (DRACO) have been developed, which induces apoptosis in cells with viral dsRNA selectively to kill infected cells quickly with no damage to uninfected ones.
Materials and Methods: Following the design, development, expression, and purification of DRACO, influenza virus-infected MDCK and uninfected MDCK cells were treated with 40, 60, and 80 mg/L concentration of DRACO to study its potential antiviral activity. Then, TCID50 (50% Tissue Culture Infectious Dose) of the virus, together with the viability of cells, was measured.
Results: The findings of the present study showed that DRACO is nontoxic to uninfected MDCK cells and is effective for H1N1 influenza virus-infected MDCK cells dose-dependently. Also, the infected MDCK cells treated with DRACO have shown a significant reduction in TCID50 compared with the control group.
Conclusions: The outcomes suggest that DRACO has potential as a new anti-H1N1 therapeutic drug that its in-vivo antiviral efficacy requires to be examined through a clinical analysis of large quantities of animal models.