Hepatitis C virus-induced prion protein expression facilitates hepatitis C virus replication
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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.
Keywordshepatitis C virus (HCV) NS3 NS5B prion protein (PrP)
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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).
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