The coronaviral proteases, papain-like protease (PLpro) and 3C-like protease (3CLpro), are attractive antiviral drug targets because they are essential for coronaviral replication. PLpro has the additional function of stripping ubiquitin and ISG15 from host-cell proteins to aid coronaviruses in their evasion of the host innate immune responses. Targeting PLpro with antiviral drugs may have an advantage in not only inhibiting viral replication but also inhibiting the dysregulation of signaling cascades in infected cells that may lead to cell death in surrounding, uninfected cells.
- Yahira M. Báez-Santos.The SARS-coronavirus papain-like protease: Structure, function and inhibition by designed antiviral compounds. Antiviral Research.2015