Ectopic delivery of miR-200c diminishes hepatitis C virus infectivity through transcriptional and translational repression of Occludin
Occludin (OCLN) is an essential factor for HCV entry through interacting with other surface receptors. The aim of this study was to investigate the epigenetic regulation of Occludin expression and to study its impact on viral infectivity. microRNAs expression was assessed using qRT-PCR, while OCLN protein expression was investigated by indirect immunofluorescence and Western blotting. Viral infectivity was assessed by measuring viral-load using qRT-PCR. In silico analysis predicted that miR-200c targeted the OCLN 3’UTR, which was further experimentally confirmed. miR-122 was previously validated to target the 3’UTR of OCLN and was used as a control. We report a significant down-regulation of miR-200c in liver tissues of HCV-infected patients. Ectopic expression of both miR-122 and miR-200c in Huh7 cells reduced OCLN mRNA and protein levels. Viral infectivity was significantly reduced by miR-200c but enhanced by miR-122. This work sheds light on miR-200c as a novel regulator of HCV infectivity through the regulation of OCLN.
The authors would like to thank Prof. Jens Bukh and Prof. Wakita for providing us with JFH1 and ED43/JFH1HCV constructs, respectively.
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Conflict of interest
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