The advent of the replicon system together with advances in cell culture have contributed significantly to our understanding of the function of virally-encoded structural and nonstructural proteins in the replication cycle of the hepatitis C virus. In addition, in vitro systems have been used to identify several host proteins whose expression is critical for supporting such diverse activities as viral entry, RNA replication, particle assembly, and the release of infectious virions. Among all known host proteins that participate in the HCV replication cycle, cyclophilins are unique because they constitute the only host target that has formed the basis of pharmaceutical drug discovery and drug development programs. The introduction of the nonimmunosuppressive cyclophilin inhibitors into clinical testing has confirmed the clinical utility of CsA-based inhibitors for the treatment of individuals with chronic hepatitis C infection and has yielded new insights into their mechanism(s) of action. This review describes the biochemical evidence for the potential roles played by cyclophilins in supporting HCV RNA replication and summarizes clinical trial results obtained with the first generation of nonimmunosuppressive cyclophilin inhibitors.