Potential capacity of interferon-α to eliminate covalently closed circular DNA (cccDNA) in hepatocytes infected with hepatitis B virus

Gang Wang, Jun Guan, Nazif U. Khan, Guojun Li, Junwei Shao, Qihui Zhou, Lichen Xu, Chunhong Huang, Jingwen Deng, Haihong Zhu, Zhi Chen
2021 Gut Pathogens  
AbstractInterferon-alpha (IFN-α) and nucleot(s)ide analogs (NAs) are first-line drugs for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infections. Generally, NAs target the reverse transcription of HBV pregenomic RNA, but they cannot eliminate covalently-closed-circular DNA (cccDNA). Although effective treatment with NAs can dramatically decrease HBV proteins and DNA loads, and even promote serological conversion, cccDNA persists in the nucleus of hepatocytes due to the lack of effective
more » ... i-cccDNA drugs. Of the medications currently available, only IFN-α can potentially target cccDNA. However, the clinical effects of eradicating cccDNA using IFN-α in the hepatocytes of patients with HBV are not proficient as well as expected and are not well understood. Herein, we review the anti-HBV mechanisms of IFN-α involving cccDNA modification as the most promising approaches to cure HBV infection. We expect to find indications of promising areas of research that require further study to eliminate cccDNA of HBV in patients.
doi:10.1186/s13099-021-00421-9 pmid:33845868 fatcat:d2fxslifjzc73ia2kukgprudym