Hepatitis B virus reverse transcriptase - Target of current antiviral therapy and future drug development

Daniel N. Clark, Jianming Hu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

35 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infections rely on the proper functioning of the viral polymerase enzyme, a specialized reverse transcriptase (RT) with multiple activities. All currently approved antiviral drugs for the treatment of chronic HBV infection, except for interferon, target the RT and belong to the same chemical class - they are all nucleoside analogs. Viral DNA synthesis is carried out by the RT enzyme in several different steps, each with distinct RT conformational requirements. In principle, each stage may be targeted by distinct antiviral drugs. In particular, the HBV RT has the unique ability to initiate viral DNA synthesis using itself as a protein primer in a novel protein priming reaction. In order to help identify RT inhibitors and study their mechanisms of action, a number of experimental systems have been developed, each varying in its ability to dissect the protein priming stage and subsequent stages of viral DNA synthesis at the molecular level. Two of the most effective drugs to date, entecavir and tenofovir, can inhibit both the protein priming and the subsequent DNA elongation stages of HBV DNA synthesis. Interestingly, clevudine, a thymidine analog, can inhibit both protein priming and DNA elongation in a non-competitive manner and without being incorporated into the viral DNA. Thus, a nucleoside RT inhibitor (NRTI) can functionally mimic a non-NRTI (NNRTI) in its inhibition of the HBV RT. Therefore, novel NRTIs as well as NNRTIs may be developed to inhibit the DNA synthesis activity of the HBV RT. Furthermore, additional activities of the RT that are also essential to HBV replication, including specific recognition of the viral RNA and its packaging into viral nucleocapsids, may be exploited for antiviral development. To achieve a more potent inhibition of viral replication and ultimately cure chronic HBV infection, the next generation of anti-HBV therapies will likely need to include NRTIs, NNRTIs, and other agents that target the viral RT as well as other viral and host factors in various combinations. This article forms part of a symposium in Antiviral Research on "An unfinished story: from the discovery of the Australia antigen to the development of new curative therapies for hepatitis B."

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)132-137
Number of pages6
JournalAntiviral Research
Volume123
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2015

Fingerprint

RNA-Directed DNA Polymerase
Hepatitis B virus
Antiviral Agents
Drug Therapy
Viral DNA
Virus Diseases
Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors
Tenofovir
DNA
Chronic Hepatitis B
Proteins
Nucleosides
Virus Assembly
Nucleocapsid
Viral RNA
Enzymes
Hepatitis B Surface Antigens
Virus Replication
Hepatitis B
Thymidine

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology
  • Virology

Cite this

@article{0135b14282764253a0c09b25e2afd716,
title = "Hepatitis B virus reverse transcriptase - Target of current antiviral therapy and future drug development",
abstract = "Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infections rely on the proper functioning of the viral polymerase enzyme, a specialized reverse transcriptase (RT) with multiple activities. All currently approved antiviral drugs for the treatment of chronic HBV infection, except for interferon, target the RT and belong to the same chemical class - they are all nucleoside analogs. Viral DNA synthesis is carried out by the RT enzyme in several different steps, each with distinct RT conformational requirements. In principle, each stage may be targeted by distinct antiviral drugs. In particular, the HBV RT has the unique ability to initiate viral DNA synthesis using itself as a protein primer in a novel protein priming reaction. In order to help identify RT inhibitors and study their mechanisms of action, a number of experimental systems have been developed, each varying in its ability to dissect the protein priming stage and subsequent stages of viral DNA synthesis at the molecular level. Two of the most effective drugs to date, entecavir and tenofovir, can inhibit both the protein priming and the subsequent DNA elongation stages of HBV DNA synthesis. Interestingly, clevudine, a thymidine analog, can inhibit both protein priming and DNA elongation in a non-competitive manner and without being incorporated into the viral DNA. Thus, a nucleoside RT inhibitor (NRTI) can functionally mimic a non-NRTI (NNRTI) in its inhibition of the HBV RT. Therefore, novel NRTIs as well as NNRTIs may be developed to inhibit the DNA synthesis activity of the HBV RT. Furthermore, additional activities of the RT that are also essential to HBV replication, including specific recognition of the viral RNA and its packaging into viral nucleocapsids, may be exploited for antiviral development. To achieve a more potent inhibition of viral replication and ultimately cure chronic HBV infection, the next generation of anti-HBV therapies will likely need to include NRTIs, NNRTIs, and other agents that target the viral RT as well as other viral and host factors in various combinations. This article forms part of a symposium in Antiviral Research on {"}An unfinished story: from the discovery of the Australia antigen to the development of new curative therapies for hepatitis B.{"}",
author = "Clark, {Daniel N.} and Jianming Hu",
year = "2015",
month = "11",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.antiviral.2015.09.011",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "123",
pages = "132--137",
journal = "Antiviral Research",
issn = "0166-3542",
publisher = "Elsevier",

}

Hepatitis B virus reverse transcriptase - Target of current antiviral therapy and future drug development. / Clark, Daniel N.; Hu, Jianming.

In: Antiviral Research, Vol. 123, 01.11.2015, p. 132-137.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

TY - JOUR

T1 - Hepatitis B virus reverse transcriptase - Target of current antiviral therapy and future drug development

AU - Clark, Daniel N.

AU - Hu, Jianming

PY - 2015/11/1

Y1 - 2015/11/1

N2 - Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infections rely on the proper functioning of the viral polymerase enzyme, a specialized reverse transcriptase (RT) with multiple activities. All currently approved antiviral drugs for the treatment of chronic HBV infection, except for interferon, target the RT and belong to the same chemical class - they are all nucleoside analogs. Viral DNA synthesis is carried out by the RT enzyme in several different steps, each with distinct RT conformational requirements. In principle, each stage may be targeted by distinct antiviral drugs. In particular, the HBV RT has the unique ability to initiate viral DNA synthesis using itself as a protein primer in a novel protein priming reaction. In order to help identify RT inhibitors and study their mechanisms of action, a number of experimental systems have been developed, each varying in its ability to dissect the protein priming stage and subsequent stages of viral DNA synthesis at the molecular level. Two of the most effective drugs to date, entecavir and tenofovir, can inhibit both the protein priming and the subsequent DNA elongation stages of HBV DNA synthesis. Interestingly, clevudine, a thymidine analog, can inhibit both protein priming and DNA elongation in a non-competitive manner and without being incorporated into the viral DNA. Thus, a nucleoside RT inhibitor (NRTI) can functionally mimic a non-NRTI (NNRTI) in its inhibition of the HBV RT. Therefore, novel NRTIs as well as NNRTIs may be developed to inhibit the DNA synthesis activity of the HBV RT. Furthermore, additional activities of the RT that are also essential to HBV replication, including specific recognition of the viral RNA and its packaging into viral nucleocapsids, may be exploited for antiviral development. To achieve a more potent inhibition of viral replication and ultimately cure chronic HBV infection, the next generation of anti-HBV therapies will likely need to include NRTIs, NNRTIs, and other agents that target the viral RT as well as other viral and host factors in various combinations. This article forms part of a symposium in Antiviral Research on "An unfinished story: from the discovery of the Australia antigen to the development of new curative therapies for hepatitis B."

AB - Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infections rely on the proper functioning of the viral polymerase enzyme, a specialized reverse transcriptase (RT) with multiple activities. All currently approved antiviral drugs for the treatment of chronic HBV infection, except for interferon, target the RT and belong to the same chemical class - they are all nucleoside analogs. Viral DNA synthesis is carried out by the RT enzyme in several different steps, each with distinct RT conformational requirements. In principle, each stage may be targeted by distinct antiviral drugs. In particular, the HBV RT has the unique ability to initiate viral DNA synthesis using itself as a protein primer in a novel protein priming reaction. In order to help identify RT inhibitors and study their mechanisms of action, a number of experimental systems have been developed, each varying in its ability to dissect the protein priming stage and subsequent stages of viral DNA synthesis at the molecular level. Two of the most effective drugs to date, entecavir and tenofovir, can inhibit both the protein priming and the subsequent DNA elongation stages of HBV DNA synthesis. Interestingly, clevudine, a thymidine analog, can inhibit both protein priming and DNA elongation in a non-competitive manner and without being incorporated into the viral DNA. Thus, a nucleoside RT inhibitor (NRTI) can functionally mimic a non-NRTI (NNRTI) in its inhibition of the HBV RT. Therefore, novel NRTIs as well as NNRTIs may be developed to inhibit the DNA synthesis activity of the HBV RT. Furthermore, additional activities of the RT that are also essential to HBV replication, including specific recognition of the viral RNA and its packaging into viral nucleocapsids, may be exploited for antiviral development. To achieve a more potent inhibition of viral replication and ultimately cure chronic HBV infection, the next generation of anti-HBV therapies will likely need to include NRTIs, NNRTIs, and other agents that target the viral RT as well as other viral and host factors in various combinations. This article forms part of a symposium in Antiviral Research on "An unfinished story: from the discovery of the Australia antigen to the development of new curative therapies for hepatitis B."

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84943403551&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84943403551&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.antiviral.2015.09.011

DO - 10.1016/j.antiviral.2015.09.011

M3 - Review article

C2 - 26408354

AN - SCOPUS:84943403551

VL - 123

SP - 132

EP - 137

JO - Antiviral Research

JF - Antiviral Research

SN - 0166-3542

ER -