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Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 1998 Jul 7;8(13):1713-8.

Peptide-based inhibitors of the hepatitis C virus serine protease.

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Bio-Méga Research Division, Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd., Laval, Québec, Canada.


Hexapeptide DDIVPC-OH is a competitive inhibitor of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) NS3 protease complexed with NS4A cofactor peptide. This hexapeptide corresponds to the N-terminal cleavage product of an HCV dodecapeptide substrate derived from the NS5A/5B cleavage site. Structure-activity studies on Ac-DDIVPC-OH revealed that side chains of the P4, P3 and P1 residues contribute the most to binding and that the introduction of a D-amino acid at the P5 position improves potency considerably. Furthermore, there is a strong preference for cysteine at the P1 position and conservative replacements, such as serine, are not well tolerated.

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