Inhibiting Hepatitis C

Inhibiting Hepatitis C

Author: Vikki Cantrill

The hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a major cause of liver disease. Current treatments have severe side effects and low cure rates. Coumarin derivatives have recently proved active against a range of viruses.

Ying-Ting Lin, Shyh-Chyun Yang and colleagues from Kaohsiung Medical University, Taiwan, focused on the synthesis and activity of anilinocoumarins as agents against HCV. They synthesized a range of 3-substituted compounds from 3-(chloromethyl)coumarin and various anilines by using an amination reaction.
The most potent compound, 3-(3′,4′,5′-trimethoxyanilin-1′-yl)methylaminocoumarin, showed anti-HCV activity with an EC50 value of 12 μM. This compound prevented replication of HVC by boosting the protective immune defences of cells – an interferon response – 3.6-fold relative to controls.

Drugs that induce an interferon response promise lowered drug resistance resulting from virus mutations, and this compound is a promising lead.

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