Hepatitis C virus (HCV) NS2 protein up-regulates HCV IRES-dependent translation and down-regulates NS5B RdRp activity.
ABSTRACT Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection often leads to liver cancer. The HCV NS2 protein is a hydrophobic transmembrane protein that associates with several cellular proteins in mammalian cells. In this report, we investigated the function of NS2 protein on HCV replication and translation by using a transient cell-based expression system. Cells co-transfected with pcDNA3.1 (-)-NS2 and the dual-luciferase reporter construct containing the HCV IRES were used to detect the effect of NS2 protein on HCV translation. Cells co-transfected with pcDNA3.1(-)-NS2, pcDNA-NS5B and a reporter plasmid were used to detect the effect of NS2 protein on HCV replication. The results showed that HCV NS2 protein up-regulated HCV IRES-dependent translation in a specific and dose-dependent manner in Huh7 cells but not in HeLa and HepG2 cells, and NS2 protein inhibited NS5B RdRp activity in a dose-independent manner in all three cell lines. These findings may suggest a novel mechanism by which HCV modulates its NS5B replication and IRES-dependent translation and facilitates virus persistence.
Annual reports in medicinal chemistry 01/2009; 44:397-440. DOI:10.1016/S0065-7743(09)04420-0 · 1.19 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs) are responsible for establishing and maintaining DNA methylation, which are dysregulated in hepatitis C virus (HCV)-associated hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). In this report, using lentivirus-mediated shRNA interference technology, we identified DNMT1 and DNMT3B as host factors involved in HCV propagation. Our results demonstrated that down-regulation of DNMT1 or DNMT3B expression in Huh7.5.1 cells severely impaired cell culture-produced HCV (HCVcc) infection. Furthermore, knockdown of DNMT1 or DNMT3B did not affect HCV entry and internal ribosome entry site (IRES)-directed translation but did inhibit subgenomic replication. In contrast, knockdown of DNMT3A had no significant effect on HCV infection, entry, translation, or replication, which suggested that DNMT3A did not play a significant role in HCV life cycle. Moreover, we showed that DNMT inhibitors 5-Aza-C and 5-Aza-dC significantly suppressed HCVcc infection, viral RNA replication, and protein expression. These results suggest that DNMTs are critical for HCV replication and may represent potent targets for the treatment of HCV infection.Virology 03/2013; 441(1). DOI:10.1016/j.virol.2013.03.005 · 3.28 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) causes a clinically important disease affecting 3% of the world population. HCV is a single-stranded, positive-sense RNA virus belonging to the genus Hepacivirus within the Flaviviridae family. The virus establishes a chronic infection in the face of an active host oxidative defence, thus adaptation to oxidative stress is key to virus survival. Being a small RNA virus with a limited genomic capacity, we speculate that HCV deploys a different strategy to evade host oxidative defence. Instead of counteracting oxidative stress, it utilizes oxidative stress to facilitate its own survival. Translation is the first step in the replication of a plus strand RNA virus so it would make sense if the virus can exploit the host oxidative defence in facilitating this very first step. This is particularly true when HCV utilizes an internal ribosome entry site element in translation, which is distinctive from that of cap-dependent translation of the vast majority of cellular genes, thus allowing selective translation of genes under conditions when global protein synthesis is compromised. Indeed, we were the first to show that HCV translation was stimulated by an important pro-oxidant-hydrogen peroxide in hepatocytes, suggesting that HCV is able to adapt to and utilize the host anti-viral response to facilitate its own translation thus allowing the virus to thrive under oxidative stress condition to establish chronicity. Understanding how HCV translation is regulated under oxidative stress condition will advance our knowledge on how HCV establishes chronicity. As chronicity is the initiator step in disease progression this will eventually lead to a better understanding of pathogenicity, which is particularly relevant to the development of anti-virals and improved treatments of HCV patients using anti-oxidants.World Journal of Gastroenterology 03/2014; 20(11):2785-2800. DOI:10.3748/wjg.v20.i11.2785 · 2.43 Impact Factor