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Chang JH , Nie XC , Gudima S , Taylor J
Action of inhibitors on accumulation of processed hepatitis delta virus RNAs
JOURNAL OF VIROLOGY. 2006 Apr;80(7) :3205-3214
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Hepatitis delta virus (HDV) replication involves processing and accumulation of three RNA species: the genome, its exact complement (the antigenome), and a polyadenylated mRNA that acts as a template for the small delta antigen (delta Ag), the only protein of HDV and essential for genome replication. In a recently reported experimental system, addition of tetracycline induced synthesis of a DNA-directed source of delta Ag, producing within 24 h a significant increase in accumulation of newly transcribed and processed HDV RNAs. This induction was used here to study the action of various inhibitors on accumulation. For example, potent and HDV-specific inhibition, in the absence of detected host toxicity, could be obtained with ribavirin, mycophenolic acid, and viramidine. An interpretation is that these inhibitors reduced the available GTP pool, leading to a specific inhibition of the synthesis and accumulation of HDV RNA-directed RNA species. In contrast, no inhibition was ob! served with L-FMAU (2'-fluoro-5-methyl-beta-L-arabinofuranosyl-uridine), alpha interferon, or pegylated alpha interferon. After modifications to the experimental system, it was also possible to examine the effects of three known host RNA polymerase inhibitors on HDV genome replication: amanitin, 5,6-dichloro-1-beta-D)-ribofuranosylbenzimidazole (DRB), and actinomycin. Of most interest, amanitin at low doses blocked accumulation of HDV RNA-directed mRNA but had less effect on HDV genomic and antigenomic RNAs. Additional experiments indicated that this apparent resistance to amanitin inhibition of genomic and antigenomic RNA relative to mRNA may not reflect a difference in the transcribing polymerase but rather relative differences in the processing and stabilization of nascent RNA transcripts.