The antiviral effects of na,K-ATPase inhibition: A minireview

Luciano Amarelle, Emilia Lecuona*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Since being first described more than 60 years ago, Na,K-ATPase has been extensively studied, while novel concepts about its structure, physiology, and biological roles continue to be elucidated. Cardiac glycosides not only inhibit the pump function of Na,K-ATPase but also activate intracellular signal transduction pathways, which are important in many biological processes. Recently, antiviral effects have been described as a novel feature of Na,K-ATPase inhibition with the use of cardiac glycosides. Cardiac glycosides have been reported to be effective against both DNA viruses such as cytomegalovirus and herpes simplex and RNA viruses such as influenza, chikungunya, coronavirus, and respiratory syncytial virus, among others. Consequently, cardiac glycosides have emerged as potential broad-spectrum antiviral drugs, with the great advantage of targeting cell host proteins, which help to minimize resistance to antiviral treatments, making them a very promising strategy against human viral infections. Here, we review the effect of cardiac glycosides on viral biology and the mechanisms by which these drugs impair the replication of this array of different viruses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2154
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2018


  • Antiviral treatment
  • Cardiac glycosides
  • K-ATPase
  • Na
  • Virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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