Acyclovir mechanism of action

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This is yet another educational video showing the acyclovir moa animation. Our scientific approach is well-seen here. Nanobot Medical Animation Studio is always trying to do their best in creating reliable science videos.

Discovery of Acyclovir

Acyclovir marked the start of a new era in antiviral therapy due to its low cytotoxicity and selectivity. It was discovered in the year 1977. It was synthesized from nucleosides isolated from a Caribbean sponge, Cryptotethya crypta. Many scientists were part of the discovery: Howard Schaffer, Robert Vince, S. Bittner and S. Gurwara. The patent for acyclovir was issued in 1979 in the USA and listing Schaffer as the inventor. The first administration in humans was performed by Richard Whitley, a researcher from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

What is Acyclovir?

Acyclovir (or Aciclovir) is a human-made purine nucleoside analog which suppresses the activity of all two types of herpes simplex virus (HSV-1 and 2), and varicella-zoster virus (VZV). The primary purpose is to inhibit the multiplication of the virus. It decreases the production of the virus’s DNA.

How does it work?

Its affinity for thymidine kinase (TK) encoded by HSV and VZV, determines the high selectivity of acyclovir. With the help of viral TK, it is transformed into a nucleotide analog; acyclovir monophosphate which is then converted by host cell kinases to acyclovir triphosphate. ACP-TP prevents further viral DNA synthesis without affecting the natural cellular processes. There are three primary mechanisms of suppression: integration into DNA chain and termination of it, competitive suppression, and deactivation of the DNA polymerase. A high affinity towards the viral enzyme, thymidine kinase (TK) by Acyclovir makes the drug more effective on herpes simplex.

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