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Microbiol Immunol. 2011 Nov;55(11):774-82. doi: 10.1111/j.1348-0421.2011.00382.x.

Inhibition of hepatitis C virus replication through adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase-dependent and -independent pathways.

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Division of Microbiology, Department of Pathological Sciences, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine, Kobe, Japan.


Persistent infection with hepatitis C virus (HCV) is closely correlated with type 2 diabetes. In this study, replication of HCV at different glucose concentrations was investigated by using J6/JFH1-derived cell-adapted HCV in Huh-7.5 cells and the mechanism of regulation of HCV replication by AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) as an energy sensor of the cell analyzed. Reducing the glucose concentration in the cell culture medium from 4.5 to 1.0 g/L resulted in suppression of HCV replication, along with activation of AMPK. Whereas treatment of cells with AMPK activator 5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide 1-β-D-ribofuranoside (AICAR) suppressed HCV replication, compound C, a specific AMPK inhibitor, prevented AICAR's effect, suggesting that AICAR suppresses the replication of HCV by activating AMPK in Huh-7.5 cells. In contrast, compound C induced further suppression of HCV replication when the cells were cultured in low glucose concentrations or with metformin. These results suggest that low glucose concentrations and metformin have anti-HCV effects independently of AMPK activation.

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