Cyclosporine A (CsA) is a well-characterized anti-HCV reagent. Recently it was reported that the genotype 2a JFH-1 strain was more resistant than genotype 1 HCV strains to CsA in a cell culture system. However, the JFH-1 responsible region for the resistance to CsA remains unclear. It was also demonstrated that in genotype 1b HCVs, NS5B interacts with cyclophilin (CyP). To clarify whether or not NS5B of JFH-1 is significant for CsA resistance, we developed a chimeric replicon with NS5B of JFH-1 in the genotype 1b backbone. The chimeric replicon was more resistant to CsA than the parental genotype 1b replicon. Furthermore, reduction of CyPA had a greater effect on HCV RNA replication and sensitivity to CsA than reduction of CyPB. Here, we demonstrated that NS5B of JFH-1 contributed to this strain's CsA-resistant phenotype. NS5B and CyPA are significant for determining HCV's sensitivity to CsA.
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