Functional Characterization of Apolipoproteins in the HCV Life Cycle
Apolipoprotein E (apoE) plays dual functions in the HCV life cycle by promoting HCV infection and virion assembly and production. ApoE is a structural component on the HCV envelope. It mediates HCV cell attachment through specific interactions with the cell surface receptors such as syndecan-1 (SDC-1) and SDC-2 heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs). It also interacts with NS5A and E2, resulting in an enhancement of HCV morphogenesis. It can bind HCV extracellularly and promotes HCV infection. It is critical for HCV cell-to-cell transmission and may also play a role in HCV persistence by interfering with the action of HCV-neutralizing antibodies. Other apolipoproteins particularly apoB and apoC1 were also found on the HCV envelope, but their roles in the HCV life cycle remain unclear. In the last decade, a number of genomic, immunological, structural, and cell biology methodologies have been developed and used for determining the importance of apoE in the HCV life cycle. These methods and protocols will continue to be valuable to further understand the importance and the underlying molecular mechanism of various apolipoproteins in HCV infection and pathogenesis.
Key wordsApolipoprotein ApoE ApoB ApoC1 HCV Attachment Infectivity Morphogenesis
This work was supported by NIH grants AI097318 and AI091953 and partially by the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Center for AIDS Research (CFAR), an NIH-funded program (P30 AI027767).