Identification of a resveratrol tetramer as a potent inhibitor of hepatitis C virus helicase

Sungjin Lee, Kee Dong Yoon, Myungeun Lee, Yoojin Cho, Gahee Choi, Hongje Jang, Beomseok Kim, Da Hee Jung, Jin Gyo Oh, Geon Woo Kim, Jong Won Oh, Yong Joo Jeong, Ho Jeong Kwon, Soo Kyung Bae, Dal Hee Min, Marc P. Windisch, Tae Hwe Heo, Choongho Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Background and Purpose Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is responsible for various chronic inflammatory liver diseases. Here, we have identified a naturally occurring compound with anti-HCV activity and have elucidated its mode of antiviral action. Experimental Approach Luciferase reporter and real-time RT-PCR assays were used to measure HCV replication. Western blot, fluorescence-labelled HCV replicons and infectious clones were employed to quantitate expression levels of viral proteins. Resistant HCV mutant mapping, in vitro NS3 protease, helicase, NS5B polymerase and drug affinity responsive target stability assays were also used to study the antiviral mechanism. Key Results A resveratrol tetramer, vitisin B from grapevine root extract showed high potency against HCV replication (EC50 = 6 nM) with relatively low cytotoxicity (EC50 >10 μM). Combined treatment of vitisin B with an NS5B polymerase inhibitor (sofosbuvir) exhibited a synergistic or at least additive antiviral activity. Analysis of a number of vitisin B-resistant HCV variants suggested an NS3 helicase as its potential target. We confirmed a direct binding between vitisin B and a purified NS3 helicase in vitro. Vitisin B was a potent inhibitor of a HCV NS3 helicase (IC50 = 3 nM). In vivo, Finally, we observed a preferred tissue distribution of vitisin B in the liver after i.p. injection in rats, at clinically attainable concentrations. Conclusion and Implications Vitisin B is one of the most potent HCV helicase inhibitors identified so far. Vitisin B is thus a prime candidate to be developed as the first HCV drug derived from natural products.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-211
Number of pages21
JournalBritish Journal of Pharmacology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jan 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 The British Pharmacological Society.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology


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