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Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a leading cause of chronic hepatitis and end-stage liver diseases. Mature HCV virions are bound by host-derived lipoproteins. Lack of an HCV vaccine warrants a major role of antiviral treatment in the global elimination of hepatitis C. Although direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) are replacing the interferon-based treatment and have dramatically improved the cure rate, the presence of viral variants resistant to DAAs, HCV genotype/subtype-specific efficacy, and high cost of DAAs argue novel and affordable regimens. In this study, we identified the antiviral effects of long-chain fatty acyl-coenzyme A (LCFA-CoA) against the infections of HCV genotypes 1-6 through targeting mature HCV-bound lipoproteins, suggesting novel mechanism(s) of antiviral different from those used by host-targeting agents or DAAs. We found that the antiviral activity of LCFA-CoA relied on the long-chain saturated fatty acid and the CoA group, and was enhanced when combined with pegylated-interferon or DAAs. Importantly, we demonstrated that LCFA-CoA efficiently inhibited the infection of HCV variants carrying DAA-resistant mutations. The mechanistic study revealed that LCFA-CoA specifically abolished the attachment and binding steps and also inhibited the cell-to-cell viral transmission. LCFA-CoA targeted mature HCV-bound lipoproteins, but not apolipoproteins B or E. In addition, LCFA-CoA could also inhibit the infection of the dengue virus. Our findings suggest that LCFA-CoA could potentially serve as a supplement HCV therapy, particularly for the DAA-resistant HCV variants. Taken together, LCFA-CoA may be further developed to be a novel class of antivirals with mechanism(s), different from host-targeting agents or DAAs, of targeting the components associated with mature HCV virions. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Xinlei Li, Jinqian Li, Yetong Feng, Hua Cai, Yi-Ping Li, Tao Peng. Long-chain fatty acyl-coenzyme A suppresses hepatitis C virus infection by targeting virion-bound lipoproteins. Antiviral research. 2020 May;177:104734

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PMID: 32057770

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