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Geneticin stabilizes the open conformation of the 5′ region of hepatitis C virus RNA and inhibits viral replication

AuthorsAriza-Mateos, Ascensión ; Díaz-Toledano, Rosa ; Block, Timothy M.; Prieto-Vega, S.; Birk, Álex; Gómez, Jordi
Issue Date2016
PublisherAmerican Society for Microbiology
CitationAntimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 60: 925- 935 (2016)
AbstractThe aminoglycoside Geneticin (G418) is known to inhibit cell culture proliferation, via virus-specific mechanisms, of two different virus genera from the family Flaviviridae. Here, we tried to determine whether Geneticin can selectively alter the switching of the nucleotide 1 to 570 RNA region of hepatitis C virus (HCV) and, if so, whether this inhibits viral growth. Two structure-dependent RNases known to specifically cleave HCV RNA were tested in the presence or absence of the drug. One was the Synechocystis sp. RNase P ribozyme, which cleaves the tRNA-like domain around the AUG start codon under high-salt buffer conditions; the second was Escherichia coli RNase III, which recognizes a double-helical RNA switch element that changes the internal ribosome entry site (IRES) from a closed (C) conformation to an open (O) one. While the drug did not affect RNase P activity, it did inhibit RNase III in the micromolar range. Kinetic studies indicated that the drug favors the switch from the C to the O conformation of the IRES by stabilizing the distal double-stranded element and inhibiting further processing of the O form. We demonstrate that, because the RNA in this region is highly conserved and essential for virus survival, Geneticin inhibits HCV Jc1 NS3 expression, the release of the viral genomic RNA, and the propagation of HCV in Huh 7.5 cells. Our study highlights the crucial role of riboswitches in HCV replication and suggests the therapeutic potential of viral-RNA-targeted antivirals.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1128/AAC.02511-15
issn: 1098-6596
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