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Rowe I.A.,Center for Human Virology | Rowe I.A.,National Health Research Institute | Rowe I.A.,Liver and Hepatobiliary Unit | Tully D.C.,Massachusetts Institute of Technology | And 19 more authors.
Liver Transplantation | Year: 2016

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) entry inhibitors have been hypothesized to prevent infection of the liver after transplantation. ITX5061 is a scavenger receptor class B type I antagonist that blocks HCV entry and infection in vitro. We assessed the safety and efficacy of ITX5061 to limit HCV infection of the graft. The study included 23 HCV-infected patients undergoing liver transplantation. The first 13 "control" patients did not receive drug. The subsequent 10 patients received 150 mg of ITX5061 immediately before and after transplant and daily for 1 week thereafter. ITX5061 pharmacokinetics and plasma HCV RNA were quantified. Viral genetic diversity was measured by ultradeep pyrosequencing (UDPS). ITX5061 was well tolerated with measurable plasma concentrations during therapy. Although the median HCV RNA reduction was greater in ITX-treated patients at all time points in the first week after transplantation, there was no difference in the overall change in the area over the HCV RNA curve in the 7-day treatment period. However, in genotype (GT) 1-infected patients, treatment was associated with a sustained reduction in HCV RNA levels compared to the control group (area over the HCV RNA curve analysis, P = 0.004). UDPS revealed a complex and evolving pattern of HCV variants infecting the graft during the first week. ITX5061 significantly limited viral evolution where the median divergence between day 0 and day 7 was 3.5% in the control group compared to 0.1% in the treated group. In conclusion, ITX5061 reduces plasma HCV RNA after transplant notably in GT 1-infected patients and slows viral evolution. Following liver transplantation, the likely contribution of extrahepatic reservoirs of HCV necessitates combining entry inhibitors such as ITX5061 with inhibitors of replication in future studies. Liver Transpl 22:287-297, 2016. © 2015 American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases. Source

Smith J.A.,Center for Human Virology | Ndoye A.M.N.,Center for Human Virology | Geary K.,Center for Human Virology | Igoucheva O.,Thomas Jefferson University | Daniel R.,Center for Human Virology
Aging Cell | Year: 2010

Werner syndrome (WS) is an autosomal recessive disorder, the hallmarks of which are premature aging and early onset of neoplastic diseases (Orren, 2006; Bohr, 2008). The gene, whose mutation underlies the WS phenotype, is called WRN. The protein encoded by the WRN gene, WRNp, has DNA helicase activity (Gray et al., 1997; Orren, 2006; Bohr, 2008; Opresko, 2008). Extensive evidence suggests that WRNp plays a role in DNA replication and DNA repair (Chen et al., 2003; Hickson, 2003; Orren, 2006; Turaga et al., 2007; Bohr, 2008). However, WRNp function is not yet fully understood. In this study, we show that WRNp is involved in de novo DNA methylation of the promoter of the Oct4 gene, which encodes a crucial stem cell transcription factor. We demonstrate that WRNp localizes to the Oct4 promoter during retinoic acid-induced differentiation of human pluripotent cells and associates with the de novo methyltransferase Dnmt3b in the chromatin of differentiating pluripotent cells. Depletion of WRNp does not affect demethylation of lysine 4 of the histone H3 at the Oct4 promoter, nor methylation of lysine 9 of H3, but it blocks the recruitment of Dnmt3b to the promoter and results in the reduced methylation of CpG sites within the Oct4 promoter. The lack of DNA methylation was associated with continued, albeit greatly reduced, Oct4 expression in WRN-deficient, retinoic acid-treated cells, which resulted in attenuated differentiation. The presented results reveal a novel function of WRNp and demonstrate that WRNp controls a key step in pluripotent stem cell differentiation. © 2010 The Authors. Source

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