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Hepatitis C virus core protein activates autophagy through EIF2AK3 and ATF6 UPR pathway-mediated MAP1LC3B and ATG12 expression.

ABSTRACT: HCV infection induces autophagy, but how this occurs is unclear. Here, we report the induction of autophagy by the structural HCV core protein and subsequent endoplasmic reticular (ER) stress in Huh7 hepatoma cells. During ER stress, both the EIF2AK3 and ATF6 pathways of the unfolded protein response (UPR) were activated by HCV core protein. Then, these pathways upregulated transcription factors ATF4 and DDIT3. The ERN1-XBP1 pathway was not activated. Through ATF4 in the EIF2AK3 pathway, the autophagy gene ATG12 was upregulated. DDIT3 upregulated the transcription of autophagy gene MAP1LC3B (LC3B) by directly binding to the -253 to -99 base region of the LC3B promoter, contributing to the development of autophagy. Collectively, these data suggest not only a novel role for the HCV core protein in autophagy but also offer new insight into detailed molecular mechanisms with respect to HCV-induced autophagy, specifically how downstream UPR molecules regulate key autophagic gene expression.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC5119055 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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