There are around more than 170 million people infected with HCV. HCV infection is responsible for 8000 deaths annually in the US. Natural products have been known as a valuable source for drug discovery for decades. Cucurbitacin is one of the natural active constituents that can be found in the members of family Cucurbitaceae. Cucurbitacins have been validated to possess multi-faceted effect targeting different molecular targets showing clinical efficiency towards treatment of different clinical problems comprising hepatoprotective, antiinflammatory, anti-proliferative and anti-cancer activity.
Cucurbitacins are known for its inhibitory activity towards Signal Transduction activator and Transcription (STAT3). Also, there is a strong correlation between STAT3 and Protease Inhibition. Subsequently, Protease inhibitors can have anti-viral activity towards HCV. Initially, we tested the efficacy of cucurbitacins towards reducing the levels of Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus (BVDV) as an introductory model for Hepatitis C Virus (HCV), this study showed the promising activity of cucurbitacins. Based on that, we decided to evaluate the efficiency of cucurbitacin to eradicate HCV. We discovered the novel promising activity of different members of cucurbitacins towards reducing the levels of Hepatitis-C virus up to 90-95%.
SDSU researchers are developing a novel source for the treatment of HCV and BVDV. This treatment has the potential for low cost and non-toxicity compared to the current treatment regimens with better efficiency compared to current HCV treatments. Cucurbitacins showed a remarkable potent anti-HCV inhibition. In addition to their multifaceted drug like activity to support the anti-HCV such as hepatoprotective activity, antiinflammatory, anti--STAT3-protease linked activity.