Hepatitis C virus genetic diversity by geographic region within genotype 1-6 subtypes among patients treated with glecaprevir and pibrentasvir.
ABSTRACT: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is genetically diverse and includes 7 genotypes and 67 confirmed subtypes, and the global distribution of each HCV genotype (GT) varies by geographic region. In this report, we utilized a large dataset of NS3/4A and NS5A sequences isolated from 2348 HCV GT1-6-infected patients treated with the regimen containing glecaprevir/pibrentasvir (GLE/PIB) to assess genetic diversity within HCV subtypes by geographic region using phylogenetic analyses, and evaluated the prevalence of baseline amino acid polymorphisms in NS3 and NS5A by region/country and phylogenetic cluster. Among 2348 NS3/4A and NS5A sequences, phylogenetic analysis identified 6 genotypes and 44 subtypes, including 3 GT1, 8 GT2, 3 GT3, 13 GT4, 1 GT5, and 16 GT6 subtypes. Phylogenetic analysis of HCV subtype 1a confirmed the presence of two clades, which differed by geographic region distribution and NS3 Q80K prevalence. We detected phylogenetic clustering by country in HCV subtypes 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, and 5a, suggesting that genetically distinct virus lineages are circulating in different countries. In addition, two clades were detected in HCV GT4a and GT6e, and NS5A amino acid polymorphisms were differentially distributed between the 2 clades in each subtype. The prevalence of NS3 and NS5A baseline polymorphisms varied substantially by genotype and subtype; therefore, we also determined the activity of GLE or PIB against replicons containing NS3/4A or NS5A from HCV GT1-6 clinical samples representing 6 genotypes and 21 subtypes overall. GLE and PIB retained activity against the majority of HCV replicons containing NS3/4A or NS5A from HCV GT1-6 clinical samples, with a median EC50 of 0.29 nM for GLE and 1.1 pM for PIB in a transient replicon assay. The data presented in this report expands the available data on HCV epidemiology, subtype diversity by geographic region, and NS3 and NS5A baseline polymorphism prevalence.
Project description:Hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 4 (GT4) is genetically diverse, with 17 confirmed subtypes, and comprises approximately 13% of infections worldwide. In this study, we identified GT4 subtypes by phylogenetic analysis, assessed differences in patient demographics across GT4 subtypes, examined baseline sequence variability among subtypes and the potential impact on treatment outcome, and analyzed the development of viral resistance in patients who received a regimen of ombitasvir (nonstructural protein 5A [NS5A] inhibitor) plus ritonavir-boosted paritaprevir (NS3/4A inhibitor) with or without ribavirin (RBV) for the treatment of HCV GT4 infection. Phylogenetic analysis of HCV NS3/4A, NS5A, and NS5B nucleotide sequences identified 7 subtypes (4a, 4b, 4c, 4d, 4f, 4g/4k, and 4o) among 132 patient samples. Subtype prevalence varied by country, and the distributions of patient birth cohort and race were significantly different across GT4 subtypes 4a, 4d, and non-4a/4d. Baseline amino acid variability was detected in NS5A across GT4 subtypes but had no impact on treatment outcome. Three patients experienced virologic failure and were infected with subtype 4d, and the predominant resistance-associated variants at the time of failure were D168V in NS3 and L28V in NS5A. Overall, high response rates were observed among patients infected with 7 HCV GT4 subtypes, with no impact of baseline variants on treatment outcome. GT4 subtype distribution in this study differed based on patient demographics and geography.
Project description:Glecaprevir and pibrentasvir are hepatitis C virus (HCV) pangenotypic inhibitors targeting NS3/4A protease and NS5A, respectively. This once-daily, fixed-dose combination regimen demonstrated high sustained virologic response 12 weeks postdosing (SVR12) rates in CERTAIN-1 and CERTAIN-2 studies in Japanese HCV-infected patients, with a low virologic failure rate (1.2%). There were no virologic failures among direct-acting antiviral (DAA)-treatment-naive genotype 1a (GT1a) (n = 4)-, GT1b (n = 128)-, and GT2 (n = 97)-infected noncirrhotic patients treated for 8 weeks or among GT1b (n = 38)- or GT2 (n = 20)-infected patients with compensated cirrhosis treated for 12 weeks. Two of 33 DAA-experienced and 2 of 12 GT3-infected patients treated for 12 weeks experienced virologic failure. Pooled resistance analysis, grouped by HCV subtype, treatment duration, prior treatment experience, and cirrhosis status, was conducted. Among DAA-naive GT1b-infected patients, the baseline prevalence of NS3-D168E was 1.2%, that of NS5A-L31M was 3.6%, and that of NS5A-Y93H was 17.6%. Baseline polymorphisms in NS3 or NS5A were less prevalent in GT2, with the exception of the common L/M31 polymorphism in NS5A. Among DAA-experienced GT1b-infected patients (30/32 daclatasvir plus asunaprevir-experienced patients), the baseline prevalence of NS3-D168E/T/V was 48.4%, that of NS5A-L31F/I/M/V was 81.3%, that of the NS5A P32deletion was 6.3%, and that of NS5A-Y93H was 59.4%. Common baseline polymorphisms in NS3 and/or NS5A had no impact on treatment outcomes in GT1- and GT2-infected patients; the impact on GT3-infected patients could not be assessed due to the enrollment of patients infected with diverse subtypes and the limited number of patients. The glecaprevir-pibrentasvir combination regimen allows a simplified treatment option without the need for HCV subtyping or baseline resistance testing for DAA-naive GT1- or GT2-infected patients. (The CERTAIN-1 and CERTAIN-2 studies have been registered at ClinicalTrials.gov under identifiers NCT02707952 and NCT02723084, respectively.).
Project description:Direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) with activity against multiple genotypes of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) were recently developed and approved for standard-of-care treatment. However, sequencing assays to support HCV genotype 5 and 6 analysis are not widely available. Here, we describe the development of a sequencing assay for the NS3/4A, NS5A, and NS5B genes from HCV genotype 5 and 6 patient isolates. Genotype- and subtype-specific primers were designed to target NS3/4A, NS5A, and NS5B for cDNA synthesis and nested PCR amplification. Amplification was successfully performed for a panel of 32 plasma samples from HCV-infected genotype 5 and 6 patients with sequencing data obtained for all attempted samples. LiPA 2.0 (Versant HCV genotype 2.0) is a reverse hybridization line probe assay that is commonly used for genotyping HCV-infected patients enrolled in clinical studies. Using NS3/4A, NS5A, and NS5B consensus sequences, HCV subtypes were determined that were not available for the initial LiPA 2.0 result for genotype 6 samples. Samples amplified here included the following HCV subtypes: 5a, 6a, 6e, 6f, 6j, 6i, 6l, 6n, 6o, and 6p. The sequencing data generated allowed for the determination of the presence of variants at amino acid positions previously characterized as associated with resistance to DAAs. The simple and robust sequencing assay for genotypes 5 and 6 presented here may lead to a better understanding of HCV genetic diversity and prevalence of resistance-associated variants.
Project description:We experienced two cases of hepatitis C virus (HCV) eradication failure in patients with a history of non-responsiveness to previous treatments with direct-acting antiviral agents (DAAs) who were subsequently treated with the combination of glecaprevir and pibrentasvir (GLE/PIB). Direct sequencing at commencement of GLE/PIB therapy showed non-structural protein (NS) 5A-P32 deletion in the first patient and NS5A-R30E/Q54H/A92K in the second patient (both genotype 1b). The common point was that L31/Y93 was double wild-type, and the IL28B polymorphism was non-TT type. Even when L31/Y93 is double wild-type, other NS5A mutations may affect the DAA re-treatment outcome. We analyzed the transition of amino acid mutations at NS5A by ultra-deep sequencing.
Project description:Patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) who have virological failure (VF) after treatment containing a nonstructural protein 5A (NS5A) inhibitor have limited retreatment options. MAGELLAN-1 Part 2 was a randomized, open-label, phase 3 study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of ribavirin (RBV)-free glecaprevir and pibrentasvir (G/P; 300?mg/120?mg) in patients with chronic HCV and past VF on at least one NS3/4A protease and/or NS5A inhibitor-containing therapy. Patients with compensated liver disease, with or without cirrhosis, and HCV genotype (GT) 1, 4, 5, or 6 were randomized 1:1 to receive 12 or 16 weeks of G/P. The primary endpoint was sustained virological response (SVR) at 12 weeks posttreatment (SVR12). Among 91 patients treated, 87 had GT1 and 4 had GT4 infection. SVR12 was achieved by 89% (39 of 44) and 91% (43 of 47) of patients who received 12 and 16 weeks of G/P, respectively. Virological relapse occurred in 9% (4 of 44) of patients treated with 12 weeks of G/P; there were no relapses with 16 weeks of treatment. Past treatment history with one class of inhibitor (protease or NS5A) had no impact on SVR12, whereas past treatment with both classes of inhibitors was associated with lower SVR12 rate. The most common adverse event (AE) was headache (?10% of patients), and there were no serious AEs assessed as related to study drugs or AEs leading to discontinuation.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Sixteen weeks of G/P treatment achieved a high SVR12 rate in patients with HCV GT1 infection and past failure to regimens containing either NS5A inhibitors or NS3 protease inhibitors. (Hepatology 2018;67:1253-1260).
Project description:Replication of the genotype 2 hepatitis C virus (HCV) requires hyperphosphorylation of the nonstructural protein NS5A. It has been known that NS5A hyperphosphorylation results from the phosphorylation of a cluster of highly conserved serine residues (S2201, S2208, S2211, and S2214) in a sequential manner. It has also been known that NS5A hyperphosphorylation requires an NS3 protease encoded on one single NS3-5A polyprotein. It was unknown whether NS3 protease participates in this sequential phosphorylation process. Using an inventory of antibodies specific to S2201, S2208, S2211, and S2214 phosphorylation, we found that protease-dead S1169A mutation abrogated NS5A hyperphosphorylation and phosphorylation at all serine residues measured, consistent with the role of NS3 in NS5A sequential phosphorylation. These effects were not rescued by a wild-type NS3 protease provided in <i>trans</i> by another molecule. Mutations (T1661R, T1661Y, or T1661D) that prohibited proper cleavage at the NS3-4A junction also abolished NS5A hyperphosphorylation and phosphorylation at all serine residues, whereas mutations at the other cleavage sites, NS4A-4B (C1715S) or NS4B-5A (C1976F), did not. In fact, any combinatory mutations that prohibited NS3-4A cleavage (T1661Y/C1715S or T1661Y/C1976F) abrogated NS5A hyperphosphorylation and phosphorylation at all serine residues. In the C1715S/C1976F double mutant, which resulted in an NS4A-NS4B-NS5A fusion polyprotein, a hyperphosphorylated band was observed and was phosphorylated at all serine residues. We conclude that NS3-mediated autocleavage at the NS3-4A junction is critical to NS5A hyperphosphorylation at S2201, S2208, S2211, and S2214 and that NS5A hyperphosphorylation could occur in an NS4A-NS4B-NS5A polyprotein.<b>IMPORTANCE</b> For ca. 20 years, the HCV protease NS3 has been implicated in NS5A hyperphosphorylation. We now show that it is the NS3-mediated <i>cis</i> cleavage at the NS3-4A junction that permits NS5A phosphorylation at serines 2201, 2208, 2211, and 2214, leading to hyperphosphorylation, which is a necessary condition for genotype 2 HCV replication. We further show that NS5A may already be phosphorylated at these serine residues right after NS3-4A cleavage and before NS5A is released from the NS4A-5A polyprotein. Our data suggest that the dual-functional NS3, a protease and an ATP-binding RNA helicase, could have a direct or indirect role in NS5A hyperphosphorylation.
Project description:Hepatitis C virus, causative agent of chronic viral hepatitis, infects 71 million people worldwide and is divided into seven genotypes and multiple subtypes with sequence identities between 68 to 82%. While older generation direct-acting antivirals had varying effectiveness against different genotypes, the newest NS3/4A protease inhibitors including glecaprevir (GLE) have pan-genotypic activity. The structural basis for pan-genotypic inhibition and effects of polymorphisms on inhibitor potency were not well-known due to lack of crystal structures of GLE-bound NS3/4A or genotypes other than 1. In this study, we determined the crystal structures of NS3/4A from genotypes 1a, 3a, 4a, and 5a in complex with GLE. Comparison with the highly similar grazoprevir indicated the mechanism of GLE's drastic improvement in potency. We found that, while GLE is highly potent against wild-type NS3/4A of all genotypes, specific resistance-associated substitutions (RASs) confer orders of magnitude loss in inhibition. Our crystal structures reveal molecular mechanisms behind pan-genotypic activity of GLE, including potency loss due to RASs at D168. Our structures permit for the first time analysis of changes due to polymorphisms among genotypes, providing insights into design principles that can aid future drug development and potentially can be extended to other proteins.
Project description:Recently, treatment of HCV infection has been improved after the development of direct acting antivirals (DAAs) which target different viral proteins (NS3-4A, NS5A and NS5B). The activity and effectiveness of these DAAs are affected by the presence of resistance associated substitutions (RASs). This study aimed to characterize HCV genotypes circulating among Egyptian HCV patients, to dissect the full sequences of HCV NS3-4A and NS5B regions, and to characterize RASs associated with NS3-4A and NS5B inhibitors in HCV treatment-naïve patients. Genotyping of 80 HCV samples from treatment-naïve patients was done using restriction fragment length polymorphism and phylogenetic analysis based on some full NS5B sequences. Results showed the prevalence of HCV subtype 4a. Twenty four new full sequences of NS3-4A and NS5B regions of subtype 4a were deposited in the GenBank database. In general, the substitutions associated with NS3-4A-targeting drugs were absent predicting possible responsiveness of Egyptian HCV patients to these drugs. In addition, the absence of amino acid substitutions associated with resistance to Sofosbuvir may predict good response to treatment with Sofosbuvir. Some amino acid substitutions associated with resistance to different classes of non-nucleoside inhibitors were detected. Further investigations on treated Egyptian HCV patients may evaluate the effectiveness of the massively used drugs. Many predicted T-cell-binding epitopes in NS3-4A and NS5B regions were found to be highly conserved in the currently studied isolates; a finding that might be important for HCV vaccine development. We demonstrated potential NS3 epitopes that could be used in engineering T cells against HCV epitopes.
Project description:Hepatitis C virus (HCV) strains belong to seven genotypes with numerous subtypes that respond differently to antiviral therapies. Genotype 1, and primarily subtype 1b, is the most prevalent genotype worldwide. The development of recombinant HCV infectious cell culture systems for different variants, permitted by the high replication capacity of strain JFH1 (genotype 2a), has advanced efficacy and resistance testing of antivirals. However, efficient infectious JFH1-based cell cultures of subtype 1b are limited and comprise only the 5' untranslated region (5'UTR)-NS2, NS4A, or NS5A regions. Importantly, it has not been possible to develop efficient 1b infectious systems expressing the NS3/4A protease, an important target of direct-acting antivirals. We developed efficient infectious JFH1-based cultures with genotype 1b core-NS5A sequences of strains DH1, Con1, and J4 by using previously identified HCV cell culture adaptive substitutions A1226G, R1496L, and Q1773H. These viruses spread efficiently in Huh7.5 cells by acquiring additional adaptive substitutions, and final recombinants yielded peak supernatant infectivity titers of 4 to 5 log10 focus-forming units (FFU)/ml. We subsequently succeeded in adapting a JFH1-based 5'UTR-NS5A DH1 recombinant to efficient growth in cell culture. We evaluated the efficacy of clinically relevant NS3/4A protease and NS5A inhibitors against the novel genotype 1b viruses, as well as against previously developed 1a viruses. The inhibitors were efficient against all tested genotype 1 viruses, with NS5A inhibitors showing half-maximal effective concentrations several orders of magnitude lower than NS3/4A protease inhibitors. In summary, the developed HCV genotype 1b culture systems represent valuable tools for assessing the efficacy of various classes of antivirals and for other virological studies requiring genotype 1b infectious viruses.
Project description:Several direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) have been approved for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections, opening the door to highly effective interferon-free treatment regimens. Resistance-associated substitutions (RASs) have been reported both in treatment-naïve patients and following treatment with protease (NS3), phosphoprotein (NS5A) and polymerase (NS5B) inhibitors. The prevalence of naturally occurring RASs in untreated HCV-infected individuals has mostly been analysed in those infected with genotype 1 (GT1), in the late phase of infection, and only within limited regions of the genome. Furthermore, the geographic distribution of RASs remains poorly characterized. In this study, we used next-generation sequencing to analyse full-length HCV genomes for the prevalence of RASs in acute HCV infections identified in nine international prospective cohorts. RASs were analysed in 179 participants infected with all six major HCV genotypes (GT1-GT6), and the geographic distribution of RASs was assessed in 107 GT1a and GT3a samples. While RASs were detected at varied frequencies across the three genomic regions, and between genotypes, RASs relevant to multiple DAAs in the leading IFN-free regimens were rarely detected in combination. Low-frequency RASs (<10% of the viral population) were also shown to have a GT-specific distribution. The main RASs with geographic associations were NS3 Q80K in GT1a samples and NS5B N142T in GT3a. These data provide the backdrop for prospective surveillance of RASs during DAA treatment scale-up.