Hao,XJ (reprint author),Chinese Acad Sci,Kunming Inst Bot,State Key Lab Phytochem & Plant Resources West Ch,Kunming 650201,Yunnan,Peoples R China.
Background: A new series of potential phenanthridine hepatitis C virus (HCV) inhibitors which work by suppressing Hsc70 expression in the host cell was designed and synthesized from lycorine. Results: Thirty-one new potential phenanthridine HCV inhibitors were synthesized and five of these compounds exhibited good anti-HCV activity and these inhibitors probably inhibit HCV by downregulating the host Hsc70 expression. Structure-activity analysis of these compounds revealed that the double bond between C-11 and C-12 and the substituents at C-8 and C-9 are important for their activity against HCV. Conclusion: Suppression of Hsc70 expression in the host cell to limit HCV replication is a potential anti-HCV strategy. Phenanthridines are probably the HCV inhibitors with this mode of action.