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Hepatitis C virus induces a mutator phenotype: enhanced mutations of immunoglobulin and protooncogenes.

ABSTRACT: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a nonretroviral oncogenic RNA virus, which is frequently associated with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and B cell lymphoma. We demonstrated here that acute and chronic HCV infection caused a 5- to 10-fold increase in mutation frequency in Ig heavy chain, BCL-6, p53, and beta-catenin genes of in vitro HCV-infected B cell lines and HCV-associated peripheral blood mononuclear cells, lymphomas, and HCCs. The nucleotide-substitution pattern of p53 and beta-catenin was different from that of Ig heavy chain in HCV-infected cells, suggesting two different mechanisms of mutation. In addition, the mutated protooncogenes were amplified in HCV-associated lymphomas and HCCs, but not in lymphomas of nonviral origin or HBV-associated HCC. HCV induced error-prone DNA polymerase zeta, polymerase iota, and activation-induced cytidine deaminase, which together, contributed to the enhancement of mutation frequency, as demonstrated by the RNA interference experiments. These results indicate that HCV induces a mutator phenotype and may transform cells by a hit-and-run mechanism. This finding provides a mechanism of oncogenesis for an RNA virus.


PROVIDER: S-EPMC384729 | BioStudies | 2004-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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