Korean J Med.  2015 Jul;89(1):35-42. 10.3904/kjm.2015.89.1.35.

Receptor for Hepatitis B and D Virus

  • 1Department of Pharmacology, Konkuk University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. khkim10@kku.ac.kr


Chronic hepatitis B affects 400 million people worldwide and is one of the leading causes of liver-related morbidity and mortality. All clinically available hepatitis B virus (HBV) drugs are nucleoside or nucleotide analogs that inhibit viral reverse transcriptase (RT) activity. Resistance to these HBV drugs has been widely reported, and is due to specific mutations in the viral RT domain. Therefore, the development of new, non-polymerase targeting anti-HBV agents is urgently needed. A potential drug target, the HBV receptor that mediates the viral entry process, has been recently identified using human primary hepatocytes, northern tree shrew (Tupaia belangeri) hepatocytes, and HepaRG cells. A transporter of bile acids, sodium taurocholate cotransporting polypeptide (NTCP), was identified as the receptor for HBV and hepatitis D virus, and the transport function of NTCP was correlated with HBV entry. Therefore, functional inhibitors of NTCP may inhibit HBV infection, and viral entry was blocked by several NTCP receptor-targeting compounds. The HBV receptor is an attractive target for development of entry inhibitors, and serves as a model for the mechanistic study of HBV entry and infection. This review will summarize the characteristics and clinical importance of NTCP, and will discuss the potential therapeutic use of NTCP inhibitors to prevent HBV entry.


Hepatitis B virus; Receptor; Sodium taurocholate cotransporting polypeptide

MeSH Terms

Bile Acids and Salts
Hepatitis B virus
Hepatitis B*
Hepatitis B, Chronic
Hepatitis Delta Virus
RNA-Directed DNA Polymerase
Taurocholic Acid
Bile Acids and Salts
RNA-Directed DNA Polymerase
Taurocholic Acid
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