Potent Inhibitory Effects of p7 Inhibitors on Genotype 4 HCV-infected Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells
Maged A. Saleh,
Radwa Y. Mekky,
Abdel Rahman Zekri,
Ahmed I. Abdelaziz.
Several patents were published for HCV p7 protein including a synthetic p7 model for drug design and screening
of experimental compounds. Additionally, patents were published for identification and use of compounds as p7 inhibitors.
HCV p7 protein is a viral ion channel (viroporin) that was found to be crucial for viral production through facilitating
assembly and release. Accordingly, targeting the protein is expected to inhibit these stages in the HCV lifecycle. p7
inhibitors displayed effectiveness against recombinant replicons of different HCV genotypes with genotype-dependant responses,
but they were never tested on genotype 4 (GT-4). Our study focused on examining the effects of four p7 inhibitors;
amantadine, rimantadine, N-nonyl-deoxynojirimycin (NN-DNJ) and hexamethylene amiloride (HMA) on HCV GT-4
for the first time which involves the majority of cases in Egypt and the Middle East-North Africa (MENA) region. HCV
viral load was assessed after stimulation by p7 inhibitors for HCV-positive Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells (PBMCs)
which are known to be extra-hepatic reservoirs for the virus. The compounds showed strong reduction of viral load without
affecting cell viability in congruency with previous experimental work that alternatively used other HCV genotypes
and cell lines.
Keywords: Amantadine, hexamethylene amiloride (HMA), N-nonyl-deoxynojirimycin
(NN-DNJ), p7, PBMCs, rimantadine, Hepatitis C virus (HCV), Genotype 4, p7 inhibitors, extra-hepatic reservoirs, chronic liver disease.
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