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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Different anti-HCV profiles of statins and their potential for combination therapy with interferon.

We recently developed a genome-length hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA replication system ( OR6) with luciferase as a reporter. The OR6 assay system has enabled prompt and precise quantification of HCV RNA replication. Pegylated interferon ( IFN) and ribavirin combination therapy is the world standard for chronic hepatitis C, but its effectiveness is limited to about 55% of patients. Newer therapeutic approaches are needed. In the present study, we used the OR6 assay system to evaluate the anti-HCV activity of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase inhibitors, called statins, and their effects in combination with IFN-alpha. Five types of statins (atorvastatin, fluvastatin, lovastatin, pravastatin, and simvastatin) were examined for their anti-HCV activities. Fluvastatin exhibited the strongest anti-HCV activity (IC50: 0.9 micromol/L), whereas atorvastatin and simvastatin showed moderate inhibitory effects. However, lovastatin, reported recently as an inhibitor of HCV replication, was shown to exhibit the weakest anti-HCV activity. The anti-HCV activities of statins were reversed by the addition of mevalonate or geranylgeraniol. Surprisingly, however, pravastatin exhibited no anti-HCV activity, although it worked as an inhibitor for HMG-CoA reductase. The combination of IFN and the statins (except for pravastatin) exhibited strong inhibitory effects on HCV RNA replication. In combination with IFN, fluvastatin also exhibited a synergistic inhibitory effect. In conclusion, statins, especially fluvastatin, could be potentially useful as new anti-HCV reagents in combination with IFN.[1]


  1. Different anti-HCV profiles of statins and their potential for combination therapy with interferon. Ikeda, M., Abe, K., Yamada, M., Dansako, H., Naka, K., Kato, N. Hepatology (2006) [Pubmed]
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