Cytidine triphosphate

October 08, 2018
I could collaborate with a human enzyme to kill viruses.
What molecule am I?

Cytidine 5′-triphosphate (CTP) is a pyrimidine nucleoside triphosphate that is analogous to the better-known ATP, but with cytidine as the base instead of adenine. It is a substrate in the biosynthesis of RNA.

Triphosphates like CTP and ATP are high-energy molecules; but ATP is involved in many more metabolic reactions than CTP. Now, however, CTP may be useful in the development of new antiviral drugs.

The research groups of biochemists Steven C. Almo at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine (Bronx, NY) and Craig Cameron at Penn State (University Park, PA) discovered that an enzyme expressed in humans catalyzes the dehydration of CTP to produce another triphosphate abbreviated as ddhCTP. The dehydrated species resembles current antivirals that disrupt RNA genome replication in some viruses.

In in vitro experiments, the researchers found that ddhCTP inhibits RNA polymerases in viruses such as Zika, West Nile, dengue, and hepatitis C. In addition to the possibility of developing new antivirals by using this technique, experts predict that this research could open new pathways to drugs based on natural small molecules.

Cytidine triphosphate hazard information

GHS classification*: acute toxicity, oral, category 4
H302—Harmful if swallowed Chemical Safety Warning
GHS classification: Skin irritation, category 2
H315—Causes skin irritation Chemical Safety Warning
GHS classification: serious eye irritation, category 2A
H319—Causes serious eye irritation Chemical Safety Warning
GHS classification: specific target organ toxicity, single exposure; respiratory tract irritation, category 3
H335—May cause respiratory irritation Chemical Safety Warning

*Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals. Explanation of pictograms.

Cytidine triphosphate fast facts

CAS Reg. No. 65-47-4
Empirical formula C9H16N3O14P3
Molar mass 483.16 g/mol
Appearance White powder
Melting point 215–218 ºC
Water solubility 11.2 g/L
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