1887

Abstract

Daclatasvir (DCV) is a highly potent direct-acting antiviral that targets the non-structural protein 5A (NS5A) of hepatitis C virus (HCV) and has been used with great clinical success. Previous studies have demonstrated its impact on viral replication complex assembly. However, the precise mechanisms by which DCV impairs the replication complex assembly remains elusive. In this study, by using HCV subgenomic replicons and a viral replicase assembly surrogate system in which the HCV NS3-5B polyprotein is expressed to mimic the viral replicase assembly, we assessed the impact of DCV on the aggregation and tertiary structure of NS5A, the protein–protein interactions within the viral replicase and the quaternary structure of the viral replicase. We found that DCV did not affect aggregation and tertiary structure of NS5A. DCV induced a quaternary structural change of the viral replicase, as evidenced by selective increase of NS4B’s sensitivity to proteinase K digestion. Mechanically, DCV impaired the NS4B-involved protein–protein interactions within the viral replicase. These phenotypes were consistent with the phenotypes of several reported NS4B mutants that abolish the viral replicase assembly. The DCV-resistant mutant Y93H was refractory to the DCV-induced reduction of the NS4B-involved protein interactions and the quaternary structural change of the viral replicase. In addition, Y93H reduced NS4B-involved protein–protein interactions within the viral replicase and attenuated viral replication. We propose that DCV may induce a positional change of NS5A, which allosterically affects protein interactions within the replicase components and disrupts replicase assembly.

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2018-12-05
2020-01-29
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