Chemical Combinations Elucidate Pathway Interactions and Regulation Relevant to Hepatitis C Replication
Owens, Christopher M.
Grenier, Jill M.
Lee, Margaret S.
Borisy, Alexis A.
Johansen, Lisa M.
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Citation (published version)Owens, Christopher M, Christina Mawhinney, Jill M Grenier, Ralf Altmeyer, Margaret S Lee, Alexis A Borisy, Joseph Lehár, Lisa M Johansen "Chemical combinations elucidate pathway interactions and regulation relevant to Hepatitis C replication" Molecular Systems Biology 6:375. (2010)
The search for effective Hepatitis C antiviral therapies has recently focused on host sterol metabolism and protein prenylation pathways that indirectly affect viral replication. However, inhibition of the sterol pathway with statin drugs has not yielded consistent results in patients. Here, we present a combination chemical genetic study to explore how the sterol and protein prenylation pathways work together to affect hepatitis C viral replication in a replicon assay. In addition to finding novel targets affecting viral replication, our data suggest that the viral replication is strongly affected by sterol pathway regulation. There is a marked transition from antagonistic to synergistic antiviral effects as the combination targets shift downstream along the sterol pathway. We also show how pathway regulation frustrates potential hepatitis C therapies based on the sterol pathway, and reveal novel synergies that selectively inhibit hepatitis C replication over host toxicity. In particular, combinations targeting the downstream sterol pathway enzymes produced robust and selective synergistic inhibition of hepatitis C replication. Our findings show how combination chemical genetics can reveal critical pathway connections relevant to viral replication, and can identify potential treatments with an increased therapeutic window.
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