What is a cyclophilin inhibitor? What does it do?

1 Answer
May 11, 2017

Cyclophilin inhibitors are host targeting antiviral binding proteins essential for hepatitic C viral replication.


The mechanism of action by which cyclophilin inhibitors interfere with the Hepatitis C virus life cycle is poorly understood. They are known to prevent assembly of double membrane vesicles which protect replication complexes. They target the host protein cyclophilin A, necessary for viral replication.

Cyclophilin inhibitors are small non immunosuppressive molecules (derivatives of cyclophilin A) that bind and inhibit cyclophilin. Blocking cyclophilin A has an anti inflammatory effect and reduces its role in oxidative stress and chemotaxis of inflammatory cells.
The involvement of cyclophilins in the pathogensis of different liver diseases has been established using both in vitro and in vivo investigations, thus indicating that cyclophilin inhibition may be of therapeutic benefit.

Cyclophilin inhibitors alone or in combination with other agents could be beneficial in the treatment of chronic hepatitis C, chronic hepatitis B and acetaminophene - induced liver toxicity. They may reduce liver inflammation and fibrosis in non alcoholic steatohepatitis, possibly augment activity of chemotherapy against hepatocellular carcinoma and decrease the metastatic spread.