Article

Targeting lipid metabolism in the treatment of hepatitis C virus infection.

First Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Yamanashi, Yamanashi, Chuo, Japan.
The Journal of Infectious Diseases (Impact Factor: 5.78). 03/2008; 197(3):361-70. DOI: 10.1086/525287
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Recently, microdomains of organelle membranes rich in sphingomyelin and cholesterol (called "lipid rafts") have been considered to act as a scaffold for the hepatitis C virus (HCV) replication complex. Using the HCV cell culture system, we investigated the effect of myriocin, a sphingomyelin synthesis inhibitor, on HCV replication. We also investigated the combined effect of myriocin with interferon (IFN) and myriocin with simvastatin. Myriocin suppressed replication of both a genotype 1b subgenomic HCV replicon (Huh7/Rep-Feo) and genotype 2a infectious HCV (JFH-1 HCV) in a dose-dependent manner (for subgenomic HCV-1b, maximum of 79% at 1000 nmol/L; for genomic HCV-2a, maximum of 40% at 1000 nmol/L). Combination treatment with myriocin and IFN or myriocin and simvastatin attenuated HCV RNA replication synergistically in Huh7/Rep-Feo cells. Our data demonstrate that the sphingomyelin synthesis inhibitor strongly suppresses replication of both the subgenomic HCV-1b replicon and the JFH-1 strain of genotype 2a infectious HCV, indicating that lipid metabolism could be a novel target for HCV therapy.

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