Article

Bidirectional Lipid Droplet Velocities Are Controlled by Differential Binding Strengths of HCV Core DII Protein

Department of Chemistry, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
PLoS ONE (Impact Factor: 3.53). 11/2013; 8(11):e78065. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0078065
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Host cell lipid droplets (LD) are essential in the hepatitis C virus (HCV) life cycle and are targeted by the viral capsid core protein. Core-coated LDs accumulate in the perinuclear region and facilitate viral particle assembly, but it is unclear how mobility of these LDs is directed by core. Herein we used two-photon fluorescence, differential interference contrast imaging, and coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering microscopies, to reveal novel core-mediated changes to LD dynamics. Expression of core protein's lipid binding domain II (DII-core) induced slower LD speeds, but did not affect directionality of movement on microtubules. Modulating the LD binding strength of DII-core further impacted LD mobility, revealing the temporal effects of LD-bound DII-core. These results for DII-core coated LDs support a model for core-mediated LD localization that involves core slowing down the rate of movement of LDs until localization at the perinuclear region is accomplished where LD movement ceases. The guided localization of LDs by HCV core protein not only is essential to the viral life cycle but also poses an interesting target for the development of antiviral strategies against HCV.

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