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#28915405   2017/09/15 Save this To Up

Hepatic immunopathology during occult hepacivirus re-infection.

Despite drug advances for Hepatitis C virus (HCV), re-infections remain prevalent in high-risk populations. Unfortunately, the role of preexisting viral immunity and how it modulates re-infection is unclear. GBV-B infection of common marmosets is a useful model to study tissue immune responses in hepacivirus infections, and in this study we re-challenged 4 animals after clearance of primary viremia. Although only low-to-absent viremia was observed following re-challenge, GBV-B viral RNA was detectable in liver, confirming re-infection. Microscopic hepatic lesions indicated severe-to-mild lymphocyte infiltration and fibrosis in 3 out of 4 animals. Further, GBV-B-specific T cells were elevated in animals with moderate-to-severe hepatopathology, and up to 3-fold increases in myeloid dendritic and activated natural killer cells were observed after infection. Our data indicate that occult hepacivirus re-infections occur and that new liver pathology is possible even in the presence of anti-hepacivirus T cells and in the absence of high viremia.

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#28904959   2017/09/14 Save this To Up

A Novel Genetic Group of Bovine Hepacivirus in Archival Serum Samples from Brazilian Cattle.

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) (genus Hepacivirus; family Flaviviridae) is a major human pathogen causing persistent infection and hepatic injury. Recently, emerging HCV-like viruses were described infecting wild animals, such as bats and rodents, and domestic animals, including dogs, horses, and cattle. Using degenerate primers for detecting bovine pestiviruses in a 1996 survey three bovine serum samples showed a low identity with the genus Pestivirus of the Flaviviridae family. A virus could not be isolated in cell culture. The description of bovine hepaciviruses (BovHepV) in 2015 allowed us to retrospectively identify the sequences as BovHepV, with a 88.9% nucleotide identity. In a reconstructed phylogenetic tree, the Brazilian BovHepV samples grouped within the bovine HCV-like cluster in a separated terminal node that was more closely related to the putative bovine Hepacivirus common ancestor than to bovine hepaciviruses detected in Europe and Africa.

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#28882857   2017/09/08 Save this To Up

Effect of Sofosbuvir-Based Hepatitis C Virus Therapy on Kidney Function in Patients with CKD.

Hepatitis C virus infection is common in patients with CKD and leads to accelerated progression to ESRD. Sofosbuvir is a potent direct-acting antiviral therapy against hepatitis C virus; however, there are concerns about its safety in patients with CKD. The objective of our study was to determine the safety and efficacy of sofosbuvir in patients with CKD.

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#28882856   2017/09/08 Save this To Up

Contemporary Management of Hepatitis C in Patients with CKD.


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#28859226   2017/08/31 Save this To Up

Viral persistence, liver disease and host response in Hepatitis C-like virus rat model.

The lack of a relevant, tractable, and immunocompetent animal model for hepatitis C virus (HCV) has severely impeded investigations of viral persistence, immunity and pathogenesis. In the absence of immunocompetent models with robust HCV infection, homolog hepaciviruses in their natural host could potentially provide useful surrogate models. We isolated a rodent hepacivirus (RHV) from wild rats (Rattus norvegicus), RHV-rn1, acquired the complete viral genome sequence and developed an infectious reverse genetics system. RHV-rn1 resembles HCV in genomic features including the pattern of polyprotein cleavage sites and secondary structures in the viral 5' and 3' UTRs. We used site-directed and random mutagenesis to determine that only the first of the two miR-122 seed sites in viral 5'UTR is required for viral replication and persistence in rats. Next, we used the clone derived virus progeny to infect several inbred and outbred rat strains. Our results determined that RHV-rn1 possesses several HCV-defining hallmarks: hepatotropism, propensity to persist, and the ability of induce gradual liver damage. Histological examination of liver samples revealed the presence of lymphoid aggregates, parenchymal inflammation and macro/micro vesicular steatosis in chronically infected rats. Gene expression analysis demonstrated that the intrahepatic response during RHV-rn1 infection in rats mirrors that of HCV infection, including persistent activation of interferon signaling pathways. Finally, we determined that the backbone drug of HCV direct acting antiviral (DAA) therapy, Sofosbuvir, effectively suppresses chronic RHV-rn1 infection in rats. Taken together, we developed RHV-rn1 infected rats as a fully immunocompetent and informative surrogate model to delineate the mechanisms of HCV-related viral persistence, immunity and pathogenesis. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

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#28857040   2017/08/31 Save this To Up

Hepatitis C virus down-regulates SERPINE1/PAI-1 expression to facilitate its replication.

Identification of host factors involved in viral replication is critical for understanding the molecular mechanism of viral replication and pathogenesis. Genes differentially expressed in HuH-7 cells with or without a hepatitis C virus (HCV) sub-genomic replicon were screened by microarray analysis. SERPINE1/PAI-1 was found to be down-regulated after HCV infection in this analysis. Down-regulation of SERPINE1/PAI-1 expression at the transcriptional level was verified by the real-time reverse transcriptase (RT)-PCR assay. Reduced SERPINE1/PAI-1 protein secretion was detected in the supernatant of HCV replicon cells and in sera from HCV-infected patients. SERPINE1 gene expression was down-regulated by HCV NS3/4A and NS5A proteins through the transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) signalling pathway at the transcriptional level. Down-regulated genes in HCV replicon cells could be the factors supressing HCV replication. Indeed, over-expressed PAI-1 inhibited HCV replication but the mechanism is unknown. It has been demonstrated that HCV induces the expression of TGF-β, and TGF-β enhances HCV replication by a not-yet-defined mechanism. SERPINE1/PAI-1 is also known to be potently induced by TGF-β at the transcriptional level through both Smad-dependent and Smad-independent pathways. The exogenously expressed SERPINE1/PAI-1 suppressed the expression of the endogenous SERPINE1 gene at the transcriptional level through the TGF-β signalling but not the Smad pathway. Thus, SERPINE1/PAI-1 could suppress HCV replication possibly by negatively regulating TGF-β signalling. A model is proposed for the interplay betweenthe TGF-β signalling pathway, HCV and SERPINE1/PAI-1 to keep the homeostasis of the cells.

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#28851562   2017/08/30 Save this To Up

Viral load affects the immune response to HBV in mice with humanized immune system and liver.

Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infects hepatocytes, but the mechanisms of the immune response against the virus, and how it affects disease progression, are unclear.

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#28835346   2017/08/24 Save this To Up

The discovery of IDX21437: Design, synthesis and antiviral evaluation of 2'-α-chloro-2'-β-C-methyl branched uridine pronucleotides as potent liver-targeted HCV polymerase inhibitors.

Herein we describe the discovery of IDX21437 35b, a novel RPd-aminoacid-based phosphoramidate prodrug of 2'-α-chloro-2'-β-C-methyluridine monophosphate. Its corresponding triphosphate 6 is a potent inhibitor of the HCV NS5B RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp). Despite showing very weak activity in the in vitro Huh-7 cell based HCV replicon assay, 35b demonstrated high levels of active triphosphate 6 in mouse liver and human hepatocytes. A biochemical study revealed that the metabolism of 35b was mainly attributed to carboxyesterase 1 (CES1), an enzyme which is underexpressed in HCV Huh-7-derived replicon cells. Furthermore, due to its metabolic activation, 35b was efficiently processed in liver cells compared to other cell types, including human cardiomyocytes. The selected RP diastereoisomeric configuration of 35b was assigned by X-ray structural determination. 35b is currently in Phase II clinical trials for the treatment of HCV infection.

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#28820612   2017/08/18 Save this To Up

The potential of signal peptide peptidase as a therapeutic target for hepatitis C.

Chronic infection with hepatitis C virus (HCV) causes liver steatosis, cirrhosis, metabolic syndrome with inflammation, and eventually leads to hepatocellular carcinoma. HCV core protein is a well-known capsid protein and pathogenic factor related to lipid accumulation, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and carcinogenesis. Cleavage of the C-terminal transmembrane region by signal peptide peptidase (SPP) is required for maturation of the core protein. Areas covered: Herein, this review details the general aspects of the structure, lifecycle, pathogenesis, and maturation of the HCV core protein, the function of SPP, and clinically available direct-acting antivirals (DAAs). SPP is classified into a group of GXGD-type intramembrane proteases including presenilin-1, which is a component of γ-secretase complex. Several SPP inhibitors were previously identified from γ-secretase inhibitors, but have not yet been improved based on specificity to SPP. Finally, the author discusses the potential of SPP inhibitors for hepatitis C therapy. Expert opinion: Currently available DAAs therapies are limited because of different viral genotypes and underlying conditions in each patient. DAA-resistant viruses have also been reported. Development of SPP-selective inhibitors may improve current HCV therapies by decreasing in the emergence of DAA-resistant viruses irrespective of viral genotype.

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#28811194   2017/08/16 Save this To Up

Immunogenetic studies of the hepatitis C virus infection in an era of pan-genotype antiviral therapies - Effective treatment is coming.

What are the factors that influence human hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, hepatitis status establishment, and disease progression? Firstly, one has to consider the genetic background of the host and HCV genotypes. The immunogenetic host profile will reflect how each infected individual deals with infection. Secondly, there are environmental factors that drive susceptibility or resistance to certain viral strains. These will dictate (I) the susceptibility to infection; (II) whether or not an infected person will promote viral clearance; (III) the immune response and the response profile to therapy; and (IV) whether and how long it would take to the development of HCV-associated diseases, as well as their severity. Looking at this scenario, this review addresses clinical aspects of HCV infection, following by an update of molecular and cellular features of the immune response against the virus. The evasion mechanisms used by HCV are presented, considering the potential role of exosomes in infection. Genetic factors influencing HCV infection and pathogenesis are the main topics of the article. Shortly, HLAs, MBLs, TLRs, ILs, and IFNLs genes have relevant roles in the susceptibility to HCV infection. In addition, ILs, IFNLs, as well as TLRs genes are important modulators of HCV-associated diseases. The viral aspects that influence HCV infection are presented, followed by a discussion about evolutionary aspects of host and HCV interaction. HCV and HIV infections are close related. Thus, we also present a discussion about HIV/HCV co-infection, focusing on cellular and molecular aspects of this interaction. Pharmacogenetics and treatment of HCV infection are the last topics of this review. The understanding of how the host genetics interacts with viral and environmental factors is crucial for the development of new strategies to prevent HCV infection, even in an era of potential development of pan-genotypic antivirals.

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