Biomol Ther.  2013 Mar;21(2):97-106.

Interaction of Hepatitis C Virus Core Protein with Janus Kinase Is Required for Efficient Production of Infectious Viruses

Affiliations
  • 1College of Pharmacy, Dongguk University-Seoul, Goyang 410-820, Republic of Korea. choongholee@dongguk.edu

Abstract

Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is responsible for the development of liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. HCV core protein plays not only a structural role in the virion morphogenesis by encapsidating a virus RNA genome but also a non-structural role in HCV-induced pathogenesis by blocking innate immunity. Especially, it has been shown to regulate JAK-STAT signaling pathway through its direct interaction with Janus kinase (JAK) via its proline-rich JAK-binding motif (79PGYPcWP84). However, little is known about the physiological significance of this HCV core-JAK association in the context of the virus life cycle. In order to gain an insight, a mutant HCV genome (J6/JFH1-79A82A) was constructed to express the mutant core with a defective JAK-binding motif (79AGYAWP84) using an HCV genotype 2a infectious clone (J6/JFH1). When this mutant HCV genome was introduced into hepatocarcinoma cells, it was found to be severely impaired in its ability to produce infectious viruses in spite of its robust RNA genome replication. Taken together, all these results suggest an essential requirement of HCV core-JAK protein interaction for efficient production of infectious viruses and the potential of using core-JAK blockers as a new anti-HCV therapy.

Keyword

Hepatitis C virus; HCV; Core; Janus kinase; Infectious virus production; JAK-STAT pathway

MeSH Terms

Carcinoma, Hepatocellular
Clone Cells
Genome
Genotype
Hepacivirus*
Hepatitis C*
Hepatitis C, Chronic
Hepatitis*
Immunity, Innate
Life Cycle Stages
Liver Cirrhosis
Morphogenesis
Phosphotransferases*
RNA
Virion
Viruses
Phosphotransferases
RNA
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