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Synthesis of C‑4-Substituted Steviol Derivatives and Their Inhibitory Effects against Hepatitis B Virus

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journal contribution
posted on 12.12.2016, 16:37 by Shwu-Jiuan Lin, Ta-Chi Su, Chin-Nan Chu, Yi-Chih Chang, Li-Ming Yang, Yu-Cheng Kuo, Tsurng-Juhn Huang
ent-13-Hydroxykaur-16-ene-19-N-butylureide (6) was one of 33 synthesized C-4-substituted steviol derivatives that were evaluated for their effects on hepatitis B virus (HBV) surface antigen (HBsAg) secretion. The IC50 (16.9 μM) and SI (57.7) values for inhibiting HBV DNA replication of compound 6 were greater than those of the reference compound, lamivudine (3-TC; IC50: 107.5 μM; SI: 22.0). Thus, the anti-HBV mechanism of 6 was investigated, and it specifically inhibited viral gene expression and reduced viral DNA levels, as well as potently attenuated all of the viral promoter activity of HBV-expressing Huh7 cells. Examination of cellular signaling pathways found that 6 inhibited the activities of the nuclear factor (NF)-κB- and activator protein (AP)-1 element-containing promoters, but had no effects on AP-2 or interferon-stimulated response element (ISRE)-containing promoters in HBV-expressing cells. Meanwhile, it significantly eliminated NF-κB and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)/mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling-related protein levels and inhibited their phosphorylation in HBV-transfected Huh7 cells. The inhibitory potency of 6 against HBV DNA replication was reversed by cotransfecting the NF-κB p65 expression plasmid. Using the MAPK-specific activator anisomycin also reversed the inhibitory effect of 6 on viral DNA replication. The present findings suggest that the anti-HBV mechanism of 6 is partly mediated through the NF-κB and MAPK signaling pathways.

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