Discovery of novel hepatitis B virus (HBV) antivirals and analysis of mechanisms of action of HBV-targeting agents
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection leads to liver disease, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma. Globally, an estimated 50% of all hepatocellular carcinoma cases are linked to chronic HBV infection. More than 240 million people are chronically infected, and there are 0.5-1 million deaths per year due to HBVrelated liver conditions. HBV treatment options rarely cure infections and are associated with adverse side effects that often outweigh the potential benefits of treatment. New treatments, therefore, are highly desired for HBV therapy. Towards this goal, we have developed novel compounds targeting two viral targets and assessed the mechanisms of action by which these compounds act. We have developed systems for the discovery and evaluation of compounds that inhibit 2 distinct steps in the HBV life cycle. Using these systems, we have developed potent inhibitors of HBV replication that have potential to become clinically used HBV drugs. Furthermore, we have used our methods to evaluate which properties of these compounds are likely to result in better viral inhibition. The work described in this thesis has led to at least 2 new compound groups for potential use as HBV antivirals and provides insight into mechanisms by which potent antivirals can be achieved.
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