Rhinoviruses pp 129-141 | Cite as

Proteases of Human Rhinovirus: Role in Infection

  • Lora M. Jensen
  • Erin J. Walker
  • David A. Jans
  • Reena GhildyalEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1221)


Human rhinoviruses (HRV) are the major etiological agents of the common cold and asthma exacerbations, with significant worldwide health and economic impact. Although large-scale population vaccination has proved successful in limiting or even eradicating many viruses, the more than 100 distinct serotypes mean that conventional vaccination is not a feasible strategy to combat HRV. An alternative strategy is to target conserved viral proteins such as the HRV proteases, 2Apro and 3Cpro, the focus of this review. Necessary for host cell shutoff, virus replication, and pathogenesis, 2Apro and 3Cpro are clearly viable drug targets, and indeed, 3Cpro has been successfully targeted for treating the common cold in experimental infection. 2Apro and 3Cpro are crucial for virus replication due to their role in polyprotein processing as well as cleavage of key cellular proteins to inhibit cellular transcription and translation. Intriguingly, the action of the HRV proteases also disrupts nucleocytoplasmic trafficking, contributing to HRV cytopathic effects. Improved understanding of the protease-cell interactions should enable new therapeutic approaches to be identified for drug development.

Key words

Human rhinovirus 3C protease 2A protease Disruption of nuclear transport Subcellular localization Inhibition of cap-dependent translation 



This research was supported by National Health and Medical Research Council (Australia) project (APP545844 and APP1027312) grants and SPRF1 fellowship (to DAJ; APP1002486).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lora M. Jensen
    • 1
  • Erin J. Walker
    • 1
  • David A. Jans
    • 2
  • Reena Ghildyal
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Faculty of Education, Science, Technology and Mathematics, Centre for Research in Therapeutic SolutionsUniversity of CanberraCanberraAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Faculty of Health, Nursing and Medical SciencesMonash UniversityClaytonAustralia

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