Although current antiviral treatments (nucleoside analogs, NAs) for chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection are effective in suppressing HBV-DNA replication, their clinical outcomes can be compromised by the increasing drug resistance and the inefficiency in promoting HBsAg/HBeAg seroconversion.Objectives:
In this study, we will explore possible effects and mechanism of a natural product baicalin (BA) with the anti-HBV efficacy of entecavir (ETV), a first-line anti-HBV drug, in HBV-DNA, HBsAg/HBeAg seroconversion and drug-resistance.Methods:
The co-effects of BA and ETV were conducted in wild-type/NA-resistance mutant HBV cell lines and DHBV-infected duckling models. HBV-DNA/RNAs, HBsAg/HBeAg, host factors (hepatocyte nuclear factors) were explored for possible anti-HBV mechanism.Results and discussion:
BA could significantly enhance and reduced HBsAg and HBeAg in hepG2.2.15, a wild-type HBV cell line. Co-treatment of BA and ETV had a more dramatic effect in NA-resistant HBVrtM204V/rtLl80M transfected hepG2 cells. Our study further revealed that BA mainly inhibited the production of HBV RNAs (3.5, 2.4, 2.1 kb), the templates for viral proteins and HBV-DNA synthesis. BA blocked HBV RNAs transcription possibly by down-regulating transcription and expression of HBV replication dependent hepatocyte nuclear factors (HNF1α and HNF4α). Thus, BA may benefit the anti-HBV therapy via inhibiting HBV viral RNAs.