Inhibitors of endoplasmic reticulum alpha-glucosidases potently suppress hepatitis C virus virion assembly and release.

Drexel Institute for Biotechnology and Virology Research, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Drexel University College of Medicine, Doylestown, PA 18902, USA.
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (Impact Factor: 4.57). 12/2010; 55(3):1036-44. DOI: 10.1128/AAC.01319-10
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT α-Glucosidases I and II are endoplasmic reticulum-resident enzymes that are essential for N-linked glycan processing and subsequent proper folding of glycoproteins. In this report, we first demonstrate that downregulation of the expression of α-glucosidase I, II, or both in Huh7.5 cells by small hairpin RNA technology inhibited the production of hepatitis C virus (HCV). In agreement with the essential role of α-glucosidases in HCV envelope glycoprotein processing and folding, treatment of HCV-infected cells with a panel of imino sugar derivatives, which are competitive inhibitors of α-glucosidases, did not affect intracellular HCV RNA replication and nonstructural protein expression but resulted in the inhibition of glycan processing and subsequent degradation of HCV E2 glycoprotein. As a consequence, HCV virion assembly and secretion were inhibited. In searching for imino sugars with better antiviral activity, we found that a novel imino sugar, PBDNJ0804, had a superior ability to inhibit HCV virion assembly and secretion. In summary, we demonstrated that glucosidases are important host factor-based antiviral targets for HCV infection. The low likelihood of drug-resistant virus emergence and potent antiviral efficacy of the novel glucosidase inhibitor hold promise for its development as a therapeutic agent for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C.

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