1887

Abstract

Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a serious public health problem and may progress to liver fibrosis, cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. It is currently treated with PEGylated IFN-α2a and nucleoside/nucleotide analogues (NAs). However, PEGylated IFN treatment has problems of high cost, low efficiency and side effects. Long-term administration of NAs is necessary to avoid virus relapse, which can cause drug resistance and side effects. New efforts are now being directed to develop novel anti-HBV drugs targeting either additional viral targets other than viral DNA polymerase or host targets to improve the treatment of chronic hepatitis B. In this study, we discovered that oxethazaine, approved for clinic use in a few countries such as Japan, India, South Africa and Brazil, can dose-dependently reduce the levels of HBV envelope antigen, extracellular HBV DNA in supernatants and intracellular HBV total DNA. However, the levels of HBV cccDNA and HBV RNAs were not affected by oxethazaine treatment. Further study confirmed that oxethazaine acts on the virus assembly stage of the HBV life cycle. A study of the mechanisms of oxethazaine suggested that this drug inhibits HBV replication and capsid assembly by blocking the cytosolic calcium‐signalling pathway. Moreover, oxethazaine could inhibit the replication of lamivudine/entecavir-dual-resistant and adefovir-resistant HBV mutants. In conclusion, our study suggests that oxethazaine may serve as a promising drug, or could be used as a starting point for anti-HBV drug discovery.

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2016-05-01
2019-10-13
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