Virologica Sinica

, Volume 32, Issue 6, pp 503–510 | Cite as

Hepatitis C virus-induced prion protein expression facilitates hepatitis C virus replication

  • Huixia Zhang
  • Shanshan Gao
  • Rongjuan Pei
  • Xinwen Chen
  • Chaoyang LiEmail author
Research Article


Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infects approximately 180 million people worldwide. Significant progress has been made since the establishment of in vitro HCV infection models in cells. However, the replication of HCV is complex and not completely understood. Here, we found that the expression of host prion protein (PrP) was induced in an HCV replication cell model. We then showed that increased PrP expression facilitated HCV genomic replication. Finally, we demonstrated that the KKRPK motif on the N-terminus of PrP bound nucleic acids and facilitated HCV genomic replication. Our results provided important insights into how viruses may harness cellular protein to achieve propagation.


hepatitis C virus (HCV) NS3 NS5B prion protein (PrP) 



This work was supported by the Strategic Priority Research Program A of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (XDA12010309), the National Science Foundation of China (31670170), the Nature Science Foundation of Hubei Province (2015CFA087), and the National Basic Research Priorities Program of China (2013CB911102). We thank the Core Facility and Technical Support, Wuhan Institute of Virology for assistance with confocal micros copy (Dr. Ding Gao) and flow cytometry (Ms. Juan Min).

Author Contributions

CYL and HXZ designed the study, HXZ performed experiments. CYL, HXZ, SSG, RJP, XWC, analyzed the data. CYL and HXZ wrote the paper.

Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

The authors declare no competing financial interests. This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects.

Supplementary material

12250_2017_4039_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (111 kb)
Hepatitis C virus-induced prion protein expression facilitates hepatitis C virus replication


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Copyright information

© Wuhan Institute of Virology, CAS and Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of VirologyChinese Academy of SciencesWuhanChina
  2. 2.Center for Molecular Virology, Wuhan Institute of VirologyChinese Academy of SciencesWuhanChina
  3. 3.University of the Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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