Journal of Biosciences

, Volume 28, Issue 3, pp 287–304

The hepatitis C virus persistence: how to evade the immune system?

Authors

  • Nicole Pavio
    • Department of Molecular Microbiology and ImmunologyUniversity of Southern California,Keck School of Medicine
  • Michael M. C. Lai
    • Department of Molecular Microbiology and ImmunologyUniversity of Southern California,Keck School of Medicine
    • Howard Hughes Medical InstituteUniversity of Southern CaliforniaKeck School of Medicine
Articles

DOI: 10.1007/BF02970148

Cite this article as:
Pavio, N. & Lai, M.M.C. J. Biosci. (2003) 28: 287. doi:10.1007/BF02970148

Abstract

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is an emerging virus of medical importance. A majority of HCV infections become chronic and lead to chronic hepatitis, liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. HCV usually induces robust immune responses, but it frequently escapes the immune defense to establish persistent infection. The fact that HCV exists as an evolving quasispecies plays an important role in the selection of escape mutants. Furthermore, several viral proteins interfere with cellular functions, in particular, those involved in the immune response of the host. Several HCV proteins also modulate cell signalling through interaction with different effectors involved in cell proliferation and apoptosis, or in the interferon-signalling pathway. In addition, HCV infects immune cells such as B and T cells, and thus affects their normal functions. These various strategies used by HCV to counter the immune response of the host are reviewed here. A better understanding of these mechanisms would help design new therapeutic targets.

Keywords

Cell signalling hepatitis C virus immune system

Abbreviations used

CTL

Cytotoxic T lymphocytes

DCs

dendritic cells

HCV

hepatitis C virus

HVR1

hypervariable region 1

IRES

internal ribsomal entry site

LDLR

LDL receptor

LTβR

lymphotoxin β-receptor

MC

mixed cryoglobulinemia

MHC-I

major histocompatibility complex class-I

NK

natural killer

NOB

neutralizing of binding

nt

nucleotides

ORF

open reading frame

PBMC

peripheral blood mononuclear cells

PTB

polypyrimidine-tract-binding-proein

RdRp

RNA-dependent-RNA-polymerase

TNF

tumour necrosis factor

Copyright information

© Indian Academy of Sciences 2003