Host Defence RNases as Antiviral Agents against Enveloped Single Stranded RNA Viruses

Jiarui Li, Ester Boix*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Owing to the recent outbreak of Coronavirus Disease of 2019 (COVID-19), it is urgent to develop effective and safe drugs to treat the present pandemic and prevent other viral infections that might come in the future. Proteins from our own innate immune system can serve as ideal sources of novel drug candidates thanks to their safety and immune regulation versatility. Some host defense RNases equipped with antiviral activity have been reported over time. Here, we try to summarize the currently available information on human RNases that can target viral pathogens, with special focus on enveloped single-stranded RNA (ssRNA) viruses. Overall, host RNases can fight viruses by a combined multifaceted strategy, including the enzymatic target of the viral genome, recognition of virus unique patterns, immune modulation, control of stress granule formation, and induction of autophagy/apoptosis pathways. The review also includes a detailed description of representative enveloped ssRNA viruses and their strategies to interact with the host and evade immune recognition. For comparative purposes, we also provide an exhaustive revision of the currently approved or experimental antiviral drugs. Finally, we sum up the current perspectives of drug development to achieve successful eradication of viral infections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)444-469
Number of pages26
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • antiviral drugs
  • Enveloped single-stranded RNA Viruses
  • innate Immunity
  • RNases
  • virus-host interplay


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