Peptide aptamers targeting the hepatitis B virus core protein: a new class of molecules with antiviral activity

Oncogene. 2001 Oct 4;20(45):6579-86. doi: 10.1038/sj.onc.1204805.


A substantial proportion of the worldwide liver cancer incidence is associated with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. The therapeutic management of HBV infections is still problematic and novel antiviral strategies are urgently required. Using the peptide aptamer screening system, we aimed to isolate new molecules, which can block viral replication by interfering with capsid formation. Eight peptide aptamers were isolated from a randomized expression library, which specifically bound to the HBV core protein under intracellular conditions. One of them, named C1-1, efficiently inhibited viral capsid formation and, consequently, HBV replication and virion production. Hence, C1-1 is a novel model compound for inhibiting HBV replication by blocking capsid formation and provides a new basis for the development of therapeutic molecules with specific antiviral potential against HBV infections.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Antiviral Agents / metabolism
  • Antiviral Agents / pharmacology*
  • Aptamers, Peptide
  • Capsid / drug effects
  • Hepatitis B / drug therapy*
  • Hepatitis B Core Antigens / metabolism*
  • Hepatitis B virus / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Liver Neoplasms / virology
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Peptide Library
  • Peptides / chemistry
  • Peptides / metabolism
  • Peptides / pharmacology*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • Two-Hybrid System Techniques
  • Virion / drug effects
  • Virus Replication / drug effects


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Aptamers, Peptide
  • Hepatitis B Core Antigens
  • Peptide Library
  • Peptides
  • peptide aptamer C1-1