Transient receptor potential mucolipin 2 and 3 (TRPML2 and TRPML3), as key channels in the endosomal-lysosomal system, are associated with many different cellular processes, including ion release, membrane trafficking and autophagy. In particular, they can also facilitate viral entry into host cells and enhance viral infection. We previously identified that two selective TRPML agonists, ML-SA1 and SN-2, that showed antiviral activities against dengue virus type 2 (DENV2) and Zika virus (ZIKV) in vitro, but their antiviral mechanisms are still elusive. Here, we reported that ML-SA1 could inhibit DENV2 replication by downregulating the expression of both TRPML2 and TRPML3, while the other TRPML activator, SN-2, suppressed DENV2 infection by reducing only TRPML3 expression. Consistently, the channel activities of both TRPML2 and TRPML3 were also found to be associated with the antiviral activity of ML-SA1 on DENV2 and ZIKV, but SN-2 relied only on TRPML3 channel activity. Further mechanistic experiments revealed that ML-SA1 and SN-2 decreased the expression of the late endosomal marker Rab7, dependent on TRPML2 and TRPML3, indicating that these two compounds likely inhibit viral infection by promoting vesicular trafficking from late endosomes to lysosomes and then accelerating lysosomal degradation of the virus. As expected, neither ML-SA1 nor SN-2 inhibited herpes simplex virus type I (HSV-1), whose entry is independent of the endolysosomal network. Together, our work reveals the antiviral mechanisms of ML-SA1 and SN-2 in targeting TRPML channels, possibly leading to the discovery of new drug candidates to inhibit endocytosed viruses.
Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier B.V.