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Virology. 2006 Aug 1;351(2):349-59. Epub 2006 May 19.

In vitro selected Con1 subgenomic replicons resistant to 2'-C-methyl-cytidine or to R1479 show lack of cross resistance.

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  • 1Roche Palo Alto LLC, S3-1, 3431 Hillview Avenue, Palo Alto, CA 94304, USA.


The HCV polymerase is an attractive target for the development of new and specific anti-HCV drugs. Herein, the characterization of the inhibitory effect of 2'-C-Methyl-Cytidine shows that it is a potent inhibitor of both genotype 1b and 1a HCV replicon replication, both of laboratory-optimized as well as of NS5B clinical isolates-chimera replicons. The corresponding 5'-triphosphate derivative is a potent inhibitor of native HCV replicase isolated from replicon cells and of the recombinant genotype 1b and 1a HCV polymerase-mediated RNA synthesis. Resistance to 2'-C-Methyl-Cytidine was mapped to amino acid substitution S282T in the NS5B coding region. Cross-resistance was observed to 2'-C-Methyl-Adenosine but not to interferon alpha-2a, to non-nucleoside HCV polymerase inhibitors or to R1479, a new and potent nucleoside inhibitor of NS5B polymerase. In vitro studies mapped resistance to R1479 to amino acid substitutions S96T and S96T/N142T of the NS5B polymerase. These mutations did not confer resistance to 2-C-Methyl-Cytidine, thus confirming the lack of cross-resistance between these two HCV inhibitors. These data will allow the optimization of new polymerase inhibitors and their use in combination therapy.

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