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Original article

In vitro inhibition of HBV replication by a novel compound, GLS4, and its efficacy against adefovir-dipivoxil-resistant HBV mutations

Xue-Yan Wang, Zhen-Man Wei, Guo-Yi Wu, Jiang-Hua Wang, Ying-Jun Zhang, Jing Li, Heng-Hui Zhang, Xing-Wang Xie, Xian Wang, Zhao-He Wang, Lai Wei, Yu Wang, Hong-Song Chen

Corresponding author name: Hong-Song Chen
Corresponding author e-mail: chenhongsong2999@163.com

Citation: Antiviral Therapy 2012; 17:793-803
doi: 10.3851/IMP2152

Date accepted: 19 September 2011
Date published online: 06 June 2012


Background: HBV infection continues to be an important worldwide cause of morbidity and mortality. Patients with chronic hepatitis B can be successfully treated using nucleoside/nucleotide analogues. However, drug-resistant HBV mutants frequently arise, leading to treatment failure and progression to liver disease. Here, we report the effects of GLS4, a non-nucleosidic inhibitor that exhibits a novel and highly specific anti-HBV activity.

Methods: The median inhibitory concentrations (IC50s) of GLS4 on HBV were measured by Southern blotting. HBV capsid and core protein levels were detected by immunoblotting. To determine the antiviral activity of GLS4 against adefovir dipivoxil (ADV)-resistant HBV mutants, HepG2 cells transiently transfected with PUC-HBV1.2 plasmids that contained one of three major ADV-resistant mutations (rtA181T, rtA181V and rtN236T) were treated with GLS4. Intracellular HBV replicative intermediates were detected by Southern blotting. The effect on the in vitro assembly of HBV capsid protein was examined using dynamic light scattering and electron microscopy.

Results: The IC50 of GLS4 was 0.012 μM, which is significantly lower than that of lamivudine (0.325 μM). Immunoblot analysis of HepG2.2.15 cells and transiently transfected HepG2 cells indicated that GLS4 treatment interfered with the formation of core particles (assembly). The ADV-resistant HBV mutant strains were also sensitive to GLS4. Upon examining the in vitro assembly of HBV core protein 149 by electron microscopy, increased aberrant particles were observed after GLS4 treatment.

Conclusions: GLS4 is a new and unique potential anti-HBV agent that possesses a different mechanism of action than existing therapeutic drugs.


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