Oncolytic herpes simplex virus-1 (oHSV) vectors selectively replicate in tumor cells, where they kill through oncolysis while sparing normal cells. One of the drawbacks of oHSV vectors is their limited replication and spread to neighboring cancer cells. Here, we report the outcome of a high-throughput chemical library screen to identify small-molecule compounds that augment the replication of oHSV G47Δ. Of the 2,640-screened bioactives, 6 compounds were identified and subsequently validated for enhanced G47Δ replication. Two of these compounds, dipyridamole and dilazep, interfered with nucleotide metabolism by potently and directly inhibiting the equilibrative nucleoside transporter-1 (ENT1). Replicative amplification promoted by dipyridamole and dilazep were dependent on HSV mutations in ICP6, the large subunit of ribonucleotide reductase. Our results indicate that ENT1 antagonists augment oHSV replication in tumor cells by increasing cellular ribonucleoside activity.
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