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Celastrol, a quinone methide triterpene isolated from the root extracts of Tripterygium
wilfordii, can greatly induce the gene expression activity of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1)
to achieve disease prevention and control. HO-1 induction was recently shown to result
in anti-HCV activity by inducing type I interferon and inhibiting hepatitis C virus
(HCV) NS3/4A protease activity. The aim of the present study is to evaluate the anti-HCV
activity of celastrol and characterize its mechanism of inhibition.