Evaluation of preclinical antimalarial drugs, which can overcome direct-acting antivirals-resistant hepatitis C viruses, using the viral reporter assay systems

Youki Ueda, Hiromichi Dansako, Shinya Satoh, Hye-Sook Kim, Yusuke Wataya, Hiroyuki Doi, Masanori Ikeda, Nobuyuki Kato

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5 Citations (Scopus)


Persistent hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection causes chronic liver diseases and is a major global health problem. Recently developed treatments with direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) have largely improved the sustained virologic response rate of patients with chronic hepatitis C. However, this approach is still hindered by its great expense and the problem of drug resistance. Using our cell-based HCV assay systems, we reported that the preclinical antimalarial drugs N-89 and N-251 exhibited potent anti-HCV activities. In this study we used our assay systems to evaluate the anti-HCV activities of six kinds of DAAs individually or in combination with N-89 or N-251. The results showed that the DAAs had potent anti-HCV activities and N-89 or N-251 contributed additive or synergistic effect. Using DAA-resistant HCV-RNA-replicating cells, which were prepared by continuous treatment with each DAA, we demonstrated that N-89 and N-251 could overcome all of the DAA-resistant HCVs. These preclinical drugs would have been potential as components of a therapeutic regimen that also included combinations of various DAAs. In addition, sequence analysis of the NS3-NS5B regions of the DAA-resistant HCV genomes newly found several amino acid (aa) substitutions that were suggested to contribute to DAA-resistance in addition to the aa substitutions already known to cause DAA-resistance. Among these new aa substitutions, we found that two substitutions in the NS3 region (D79G and S174Y) contributed to simeprevir- and/or asunaprevir-resistance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-48
Number of pages12
JournalVirus Research
Early online dateMar 18 2017
Publication statusPublished - May 2 2017
Externally publishedYes



  • Anti-HCV agents
  • DAA-resistant HCVs
  • HCV reporter assay systems
  • N-251
  • N-89

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