Amphipathic DNA Polymers Inhibit Hepatitis C Virus Infection by Blocking Viral Entry Article - 2009

Takuya Matsumura, Zongyi Hu, Takanobu Kato, Marlene Dreux, Yong–yuan Zhang, Michio Imamura, Nobuhiko Hiraga, Jean–marc Juteau, Francois–loic Cosset, Kazuaki Chayama, Andrew Vaillant, T. Jake Liang

Takuya Matsumura, Zongyi Hu, Takanobu Kato, Marlene Dreux, Yong–yuan Zhang, Michio Imamura, Nobuhiko Hiraga, Jean–marc Juteau, Francois–loic Cosset, Kazuaki Chayama, Andrew Vaillant, T. Jake Liang, « Amphipathic DNA Polymers Inhibit Hepatitis C Virus Infection by Blocking Viral Entry  », Gastroenterology, 2009, pp. 673-681. ISSN 0016-5085

Abstract

BACKGROUND & AIMS : Hepatitis C virus (HCV) gains entry into susceptible cells by interacting with cell surface receptor(s). Viral entry is an attractive target for antiviral development because of the highly conserved mechanism. METHODS : HCV culture systems were used to study the effects of phosphorothioate oligonucleotides (PS-ONs), as amphipathic DNA polymers (APs), on HCV infection. The in vivo effects of APs were tested in urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA)/severe combined immunodeficient (SCID) mice engrafted with human hepatocytes. RESULTS : We show the sequence-independent inhibitory effects of APs on HCV infection. APs were shown to potently inhibit HCV infection at submicromolar concentrations. APs exhibited a size-dependent antiviral activity and were equally active against HCV pseudoparticles of various genotypes. Control phosphodiester oligonucleotide (PO-ON) polymer without the amphipathic structure was inactive. APs had no effect on viral replication in the HCV replicon system or binding of HCV to cells but inhibited viral internalization, indicating that the target of inhibition is at the postbinding, cell entry step. In uPA/SCID mice engrafted with human hepatocytes, APs efficiently blocked de novo HCV infection. CONCLUSIONS : Our results demonstrate that APs are a novel class of antiviral compounds that hold promise as a drug to inhibit HCV entry. Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infects approximately 200 million people worldwide. 1 The majority of HCV-infected patients fails to clear the virus, and many develop chronic liver disease including cirrhosis with a risk of hepatocellular carcinoma. Treatment of chronic hepatitis C

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