Small molecule scavenger receptor BI antagonists are potent HCV entry inhibitors.
Syder AJ., Lee H., Zeisel MB., Grove J., Soulier E., Macdonald J., Chow S., Chang J., Baumert TF., McKeating JA., McKelvy J., Wong-Staal F.
BACKGROUND AND AIMS: ITX 5061 is a clinical stage small molecule compound that promotes high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels in animals and patients by targeting the scavenger receptor BI protein pathway. Since SR-BI is a known co-receptor for HCV infection, we evaluated these compounds for their effects on HCV entry. METHODS: We obtained ITX 5061 and related compounds to characterize their interaction with SR-BI and effects on HCV entry and infection. RESULTS: We confirmed that a tritium-labeled compound analog (ITX 7650) binds cells expressing SR-BI, and both ITX 5061 and ITX 7650 compete for HDL-mediated lipid transfer in an SR-BI dependent manner. Both molecules inhibit HCVcc and HCVpp infection of primary human hepatocytes and/or human hepatoma cell lines and have minimal effects on HCV RNA replication. Kinetic studies suggest that the compounds act at an early post-binding step. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that the ITX compounds inhibit HCV infection with a mechanism of action distinct from other HCV therapies under development. Since ITX 5061 has already been evaluated in over 280 patients with good pharmacokinetic and safety profiles, it warrants proof-of-concept clinical studies in HCV infected patients.