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Dihydropyridines Inhibit Translation and Early Replication of Hepatitis C Virus
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Up to 170 million people are infected with Hepatitis C Virus worldwide. Chronic HCV infection is the leading cause of fibrosis, cirrhosis and liver cancer. Treatment options are currently limited to interferon based therapies alone or in conjunction with direct acting antivirals (DAA) such as viral protease inhibitors. While the implementation of DAAs has increased the effective cure rate of HCV infected individuals, treatment is far from being complete or ideal. New DAAs with unique modes of action will be necessary to compliment our current repertoire of anti-HCV therapies. Previously our lab identified three dihydropyridines (DHP) as potent HCV replication inhibitors. We investigated and characterized the anti-HCV properties of nine additional DHP compounds. We also show that DHP compounds inhibit IRES dependent translation in full-length HCV. This inhibition of two separate steps of the viral life cycle may be a unique feature of DHPs making them superior DAAs. Among these DHPs, efonidipine emerged as the most effective HCV replication and translation inhibitor with the least toxicity. Using a real-time evolution strategy, we developed and characterized a mutant virus which was resistant to DHPs and several other drugs which modify intracellular calcium stores. Our results further the understanding of DHP inhibition of HCV providing a solid basis for investigation of more structurally related compounds as potent inhibitors of HCV.
Klemashevich, Cory (2013). Dihydropyridines Inhibit Translation and Early Replication of Hepatitis C Virus. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from