Cyclosporin A suppresses replication of hepatitis C virus genome in cultured hepatocytes

Authors

  • Koichi Watashi,

    1. Laboratory of Human Tumor Viruses, Department of Viral Oncology, Institute for Virus Research, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan
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  • Makoto Hijikata,

    1. Laboratory of Human Tumor Viruses, Department of Viral Oncology, Institute for Virus Research, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan
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  • Masahiro Hosaka,

    1. Laboratory of Human Tumor Viruses, Department of Viral Oncology, Institute for Virus Research, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan
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  • Masashi Yamaji,

    1. Laboratory of Human Tumor Viruses, Department of Viral Oncology, Institute for Virus Research, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan
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  • Kunitada Shimotohno Ph.D.

    Corresponding author
    1. Laboratory of Human Tumor Viruses, Department of Viral Oncology, Institute for Virus Research, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan
    • Department of Viral Oncology, Institute for Virus Research, Kyoto University, Kawahara-cho, Shogoin, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8507, Japan. fax: (81) 75-751-3998
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Abstract

Persistent infection of hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a major cause of liver diseases such as chronic hepatitis, liver cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma. Searching for a substance with anti-HCV potential, we examined the effects of a variety of compounds on HCV replication using a HCV subgenomic replicon cell culture system. Consequently, the immunosuppressant cyclosporin A (CsA) was found to have a suppressive effect on the HCV replicon RNA level and HCV protein expression in these cells. CsA also inhibited multiplication of the HCV genome in a cultured human hepatocyte cell line infected with HCV using HCV-positive plasma. This anti-HCV activity of CsA appeared to be independent of its immunosuppressive function. In conclusion, our results suggest that CsA may represent a new approach for the development of anti-HCV therapy.

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