Cyclosporin A inhibits hepatitis B and hepatitis D virus entry by cyclophilin-independent interference with the NTCP receptor
Authors: Nkongolo S, Ni Y, Lempp FA, Kaufman C, Lindner T, Esser-Nobis K, Lohmann V, Mier W, Mehrle S, Urban S
CellNetworks People: Lohmann Volker, Urban Stephan
Journal: J Hepatol. 2014 Apr;60(4):723-31. doi: 10.1016/j.jhep.2013.11.022. Epub 2013 Dec 1.

Chronic hepatitis B and hepatitis D are global health problems caused by the human hepatitis B and hepatitis D virus. The myristoylated preS1 domain of the large envelope protein mediates specific binding to hepatocytes by sodium taurocholate co-transporting polypeptide (NTCP). NTCP is a bile salt transporter known to be inhibited by cyclosporin A. This study aimed to characterize the effect of cyclosporin A on HBV/HDV infection.
HepaRG cells, primary human hepatocytes, and susceptible NTCP-expressing hepatoma cell lines were applied for infection experiments. The mode of action of cyclosporin A was studied by comparing the effect of different inhibitors, cyclophilin A/B/C-silenced cell lines as well as NTCP variants and mutants. Bile salt transporter and HBV receptor functions were investigated by taurocholate uptake and quantification of HBVpreS binding.
Cyclosporin A inhibited hepatitis B and D virus infections during and--less pronounced--prior to virus inoculation. Binding of HBVpreS to NTCP was blocked by cyclosporin A concentrations at 8 μM. An NTCP variant deficient in HBVpreS binding but competent for bile salt transport showed resistance to cyclosporin A. Silencing of cyclophilins A/B/C did not abrogate transporter and receptor inhibition. In contrast, tacrolimus, a cyclophilin-independent calcineurin inhibitor, was inactive.
HBV and HDV entry via sodium taurocholate co-transporting polypeptide is inhibited by cyclosporin A. The interaction between the drug and the viral receptor is direct and overlaps with a functional binding site of the preS1 domain, which mediates viral entry.