Nitrogen-containing bisphosphonates are pyrophosphate analogs that have long been the preferred prescription for treating osteoporosis. Although these drugs are considered inhibitors of prenylation and are believed to exert their effects on bone resorption by disrupting the signaling pathways downstream of prenylated small GTPases, this explanation seems to be insufficient. Because other classes of prenylation inhibitors have recently emerged as potential antiviral therapeutic agents, we first investigated here the effects of bisphosphonates on simian virus 40 and adenovirus infections and, to our surprise, found that viral infections are suppressed by bisphosphonates through a prenylation-independent pathway. By in-house affinity-capture techniques, dynamin-2 was identified as a new molecular target of bisphosphonates. We present evidence that certain bisphosphonates block endocytosis of adenovirus and a model substrate by inhibiting GTPase activity of dynamin-2. Hence, this study has uncovered a previously unknown mechanism of action of bisphosphonates and offers potential novel use for these drugs.
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