The intracellular parasitic nature of viruses and the emergence of antiviral drug resistance necessitate the development of new potent antiviral drugs. Recently, a method for developing potent inhibitory drugs by targeting biological machines with high stoichiometry and a sequential-action mechanism was described. Inspired by this finding, we reviewed the development of antiviral drugs targeting viral DNA-packaging motors. Inhibiting multisubunit targets with sequential actions resembles breaking one bulb in a series of Christmas lights, which turns off the entire string. Indeed, studies on viral DNA packaging might lead to the development of new antiviral drugs. Recent elucidation of the mechanism of the viral double-stranded DNA (dsDNA)-packaging motor with sequential one-way revolving motion will promote the development of potent antiviral drugs with high specificity and efficiency. Traditionally, biomotors have been classified into two categories: linear and rotation motors. Recently discovered was a third type of biomotor, including the viral DNA-packaging motor, beside the bacterial DNA translocases, that uses a revolving mechanism without rotation. By analogy, rotation resembles the Earth's rotation on its own axis, while revolving resembles the Earth's revolving around the Sun (see animations at http://rnanano.osu.edu/movie.html). Herein, we review the structures of viral dsDNA-packaging motors, the stoichiometries of motor components, and the motion mechanisms of the motors. All viral dsDNA-packaging motors, including those of dsDNA/dsRNA bacteriophages, adenoviruses, poxviruses, herpesviruses, mimiviruses, megaviruses, pandoraviruses, and pithoviruses, contain a high-stoichiometry machine composed of multiple components that work cooperatively and sequentially. Thus, it is an ideal target for potent drug development based on the power function of the stoichiometries of target complexes that work sequentially.
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