Article

Ultrastructural and biophysical characterization of hepatitis C virus particles produced in cell culture.

Department of Immunology and Microbial Science, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California 92037, USA.
Journal of Virology (Impact Factor: 4.65). 11/2010; 84(21):10999-1009. DOI: 10.1128/JVI.00526-10
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We analyzed the biochemical and ultrastructural properties of hepatitis C virus (HCV) particles produced in cell culture. Negative-stain electron microscopy revealed that the particles were spherical (∼40- to 75-nm diameter) and pleomorphic and that some of them contain HCV E2 protein and apolipoprotein E on their surfaces. Electron cryomicroscopy revealed two major particle populations of ∼60 and ∼45 nm in diameter. The ∼60-nm particles were characterized by a membrane bilayer (presumably an envelope) that is spatially separated from an internal structure (presumably a capsid), and they were enriched in fractions that displayed a high infectivity-to-HCV RNA ratio. The ∼45-nm particles lacked a membrane bilayer and displayed a higher buoyant density and a lower infectivity-to-HCV RNA ratio. We also observed a minor population of very-low-density, >100-nm-diameter vesicular particles that resemble exosomes. This study provides low-resolution ultrastructural information of particle populations displaying differential biophysical properties and specific infectivity. Correlative analysis of the abundance of the different particle populations with infectivity, HCV RNA, and viral antigens suggests that infectious particles are likely to be present in the large ∼60-nm HCV particle populations displaying a visible bilayer. Our study constitutes an initial approach toward understanding the structural characteristics of infectious HCV particles.

0 Followers
 · 
127 Views
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infects its target cells in the form of cell-free viruses and through cell cell contact. Here we report that HCV is associated with exosomes. Using highly purified exosomes and transmission electron microscopic imaging, we demonstrated that HCV occurred in both exosome-free and exosome-associated forms. Exosome-associated HCV was infectious and resistant to neutralization by an anti-HCV neutralizing antibody. There were more exosome-associated HCV than exosome-free HCV detected in the plasma of HCV-infected patients. These results suggest exosome-associated HCV as an alternative form for HCV infection and transmission.
    Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 11/2014; 455(3-4). DOI:10.1016/j.bbrc.2014.10.146 · 2.28 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) associates with lipoproteins to form "lipoviral particles" (LVPs) that can facilitate viral entry into hepatocytes. Initial attachment occurs via heparan sulphate proteoglycans and low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR); CD81 then mediates a post-attachment event. Proprotein convertase subtilisin kexin type 9 (PCSK9) enhances the degradation of the LDLR and modulates liver CD81 levels. We measured LVP and PCSK9 in patients chronically infected with HCV genotype(G)3. PCSK9 concentrations were also measured in HCV-G1 to indirectly examine the role of LDLR in LVP clearance. HCV RNA, LVP (d<1.07 g/mL) and non-LVP (d>1.07 g/mL) fractions, were quantified in patients with HCV-G3 (n=39) by real time RT-PCR and LVP ratios (LVPr; LVP/(LVP+non-LVP)) were calculated. Insulin resistance (IR) was assessed using the homeostasis model assessment of IR (HOMA-IR). Plasma PCSK9 concentrations were measured by ELISA in HCV-G3 and HCV-G1 (n=51). In HCV-G3 LVP load correlated inversely with HDL-C (r=-0.421; p=0.008), and apoE (r=-0.428; p=0.013). The LVPr varied more than 35-fold (median 0.286; range 0.027 to 0.969); PCSK9 was the strongest negative predictor of LVPr (R(2)=16.2%; p=0.012). HOMA-IR was not associated with LVP load or LVPr. PCSK9 concentrations were significantly lower in HCV-G3 compared to HCV-G1 (p<0.001). PCSK9 did not correlate with LDL-C in HCV-G3 or G1. The inverse correlation of LVP with apoE in HCV-G3, compared to the reverse in HCV-G1 suggests HCV genotype-specific differences in apoE mediated viral entry. Lower PCSK9 and LDL concentrations imply upregulated LDLR activity in HCV-G3. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier B.V.
    Journal of Hepatology 11/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.jhep.2014.11.016 · 10.40 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a major global health burden accounting for around 170 million chronic infections worldwide. Although highly potent direct-acting antiviral drugs to treat chronic hepatitis C have been approved recently, owing to their high costs and limited availability and a large number of undiagnosed infections, the burden of disease is expected to rise in the next few years. In addition, HCV is an excellent paradigm for understanding the tight link between a pathogen and host cell pathways, most notably lipid metabolism. HCV extensively remodels intracellular membranes to establish its cytoplasmic replication factory and also usurps components of the intercellular lipid transport system for production of infectious virus particles. Here, we review the molecular mechanisms of viral replicase function, cellular pathways employed during HCV replication factory biogenesis, and viral, as well as cellular, determinants of progeny virus production.
    Cell Host & Microbe 11/2014; 16(5):569-579. DOI:10.1016/j.chom.2014.10.008 · 12.19 Impact Factor