C-peptide inhibitors of Ebola virus glycoprotein-mediated cell entry: Effects of conjugation to cholesterol and side chain-side chain crosslinking

Chelsea D. Higgins, Jayne F. Koellhoffer, Kartik Chandran, Jonathan R. Lai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Scopus citations


We previously described potent inhibition of Ebola virus entry by a 'C-peptide' based on the GP2 C-heptad repeat region (CHR) targeted to endosomes ('Tat-Ebo'). Here, we report the synthesis and evaluation of C-peptides conjugated to cholesterol, and Tat-Ebo analogs containing covalent side chain-side chain crosslinks to promote α-helical conformation. We found that the cholesterol-conjugated C-peptides were potent inhibitors of Ebola virus glycoprotein (GP)-mediated cell entry (∼103-fold reduction in infection at 40 μM). However, this mechanism of inhibition is somewhat non-specific because the cholesterol-conjugated peptides also inhibited cell entry mediated by vesicular stomatitis virus glycoprotein G. One side chain-side chain crosslinked peptide had moderately higher activity than the parent compound Tat-Ebo. Circular dichroism revealed that the cholesterol-conjugated peptides unexpectedly formed a strong α-helical conformation that was independent of concentration. Side chain-side chain crosslinking enhanced α-helical stability of the Tat-Ebo variants, but only at neutral pH. These result provide insight into mechanisms of C-peptide inhibiton of Ebola virus GP-mediated cell entry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5356-5360
Number of pages5
JournalBioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 1 2013



  • C-peptide
  • Ebola virus
  • Hemorrhagic fever
  • Peptide design
  • Viral membrane fusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry

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