Identification of a flavonoid isolated from plum (Prunus domestica) as a potent inhibitor of Hepatitis C virus entry.
Sci Rep. 2017 Jun 21 ;7(1):3965. Epub 2017 Jun 21. PMID: 28638096
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a major cause of chronic liver diseases that often requires liver transplantation. The standard therapies are limited by severe side effects, resistance development, high expense and in a substantial proportion of cases, fail to clear the infection which bespeak the need for development of well-tolerated antivirals. Since most of the drug development strategies target the replication stage of viral lifecycle, the identification of entry inhibitors might be crucial especially in case of liver-transplant recipients. In the present study we have evaluated fruits which are known for their hepatoprotective effects in order to screen for entry inhibitors. We report the identification of a flavonoid, rutin, isolated from Prunus domestica as a new HCV entry inhibitor. Characterization and confirmation of the chemical structure was done by LC-ESI-MS, NMR and IR spectral analyses. Rutin significantly inhibited HCV-LP binding to hepatoma cells and inhibited cell-culture derived HCV (HCVcc) entry into hepatoma cells. Importantly, rutin was found to be non-toxic to hepatoma cells. Furthermore, rutin inhibits the early entry stage of HCV lifecycle possibly by directly acting on the viral particle. In conclusion, rutin is a promising candidate for development of anti-HCV therapeutics in the management of HCV infection.