alexa Alisporivir inhibition of hepatocyte cyclophilins reduces HBV replication and hepatitis B surface antigen production.


Research & Reviews: Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology

Author(s): Phillips S

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BACKGROUND & AIMS: Cyclophilins are host factors required for hepatitis C virus replication. Cyclophilin inhibitors such as alisporivir have shown strong anti-hepatitis C virus activity in vitro and in clinical studies. However, little is known about whether hepatocyte cyclophilins are involved in the hepatitis B virus (HBV) life cycle. We investigated the effects of 2 cyclophilin inhibitors (alisporivir and NIM811) on HBV replication and hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) production in cell lines. METHODS: Liver-derived cell lines producing full-length HBV and HBsAg particles, owing to stable (HepG2215) or transient (HuH-7) transfection, or infected with HBV (HepaRG cells; Invitrogen [Carlsbad, CA]), were incubated with alisporivir or NIM811 alone, or alisporivir in combination with a direct antiviral (telbivudine). The roles of individual cyclophilins in drug response was evaluated by small interfering RNA knockdown of cyclophilin (CYP)A, CYPC, or CYPD in HepG2215 cells, or CYPA knockdown in HuH-7 cells. The kinetics of antiviral activity were assessed based on levels of HBV DNA and HBsAg and Southern blot analysis. RESULTS: In HepG2215, HuH-7, and HepaRG cells, alisporivir reduced intracellular and secreted HBV DNA, in a dose-dependent manner. Knockdown of CYPA, CYPC, or CYPD (reduced by 80%) significantly reduced levels of HBV DNA and secreted HBsAg. Knockdown of CYPA significantly reduced secretion of HBsAg, leading to accumulation of intracellular HBsAg; the addition of alisporivir greatly reduced levels of HBsAg in these cells. The combination of alisporivir and telbivudine had greater antiviral effects than those of telbivudine or alisporivir alone. CONCLUSIONS: Alisporivir inhibition of cyclophilins in hepatocyte cell lines reduces replication of HBV DNA and HBsAg production and secretion. These effects are potentiated in combination with direct antiviral agents that target HBV-DNA polymerase.

This article was published in Gastroenterology. and referenced in Research & Reviews: Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology

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