Several fatal bunyavirus infections lack specific treatment. Here, we show that diketo acids engage a panel of bunyavirus cap-snatching endonucleases, inhibit their catalytic activity and reduce viral replication of a taxonomic representative in vitro. Specifically, the non-salt form of L-742,001 and its derivatives exhibited EC50 values between 5.6 and 6.9 μM against a recombinant BUNV-mCherry virus. Structural analysis and molecular docking simulations identified traits of both the class of chemical entities and the viral target that could help the design of novel, more potent molecules for the development of pan-bunyavirus antivirals.
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