HBB [2-(α-hydroxybenzyl)-benzimidazole] and guanidine are potent inhibitors of picornavirus replication. Among other evidence, limited cross-resistance and a synergistic effect of both inhibitors suggest similar but not identical mechanisms of antiviral action. Echovirus-9 variants resistant to each of these drugs were characterized and sequenced. Complete resistance to HBB or guanidine was shown to be due to single but different point mutations in the non-structural protein 2C. Protein 2C was expressed as GST fusion and His-tagged proteins for the wild-type and various mutants. Although three mutations were located in or near conserved NTP binding motifs, NTPase activity was not altered in the presence of HBB or guanidine.


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