New plant based compounds show promise for hepatitis B

Researchers have found that certain plant-derived products may help prevent and treat hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. Proanthocyanidin (PAC) and its analogs, oolonghomobisflavanes, act by inhibiting viral entry into host cells.

Hepatis B life cycle
The life cycle of Hepatitis B Virus. Credit Dr. Graham Colm Wikipedia

The investigators noted that PAC was effective even against treatment-resistant HBV strains, and it augmented the ability of the antiviral drug tenofovir to interrupt HBV spread in human cells.

“PAC represents a specific inhibitor against HBV that is a less toxic plant-derived agent used as a dietary supplement,” said Dr. Koichi Watashi, co-author of the Hepatology study.

Senko Tsukuda, Koichi Watashi, Taichi Hojima, Masanori Isogawa, Masashi Iwamoto, Katsumi Omagari, Ryosuke Suzuki, Hideki Aizaki, Soichi Kojima, Masaya Sugiyama, Akiko Saito, Yasuhito Tanaka, Masashi Mizokami, Camille Sureau and Takaji Wakita. “A new class of hepatitis B and D virus entry inhibitors, proanthocyanidin and its analogs, that directly act on the viral large surface proteins.” Hepatology 2017.
DOI: 10.1002/hep.28952
Adapted from press release by Wiley Publications.