Hepatitis C virus core or NS3/4A protein expression preconditions hepatocytes against oxidative stress and endoplasmic reticulum stress.
ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES:The occurrence of oxidative stress and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress in hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection has been demonstrated and play an important role in liver injury. During viral infection, hepatocytes must handle not only the replication of the virus, but also inflammatory signals generating oxidative stress and damage. Although several mechanisms exist to overcome cellular stress, little attention has been given to the adaptive response of hepatocytes during exposure to multiple noxious triggers. METHODS:In the present study, Huh-7 cells and hepatocytes expressing HCV Core or NS3/4A proteins, both inducers of oxidative and ER stress, were additionally challenged with the superoxide anion generator menadione to mimic external oxidative stress. The production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) as well as the response to oxidative stress and ER stress were investigated. RESULTS:We demonstrate that hepatocytes diminish oxidative stress through a reduction in ROS production, ER-stress markers (HSPA5 [GRP78], sXBP1) and apoptosis (caspase-3 activity) despite external oxidative stress. Interestingly, the level of the autophagy substrate protein p62 was downregulated together with HCV Core degradation, suggesting that hepatocytes can overcome excess oxidative stress through autophagic degradation of one of the stressors, thereby increasing cell survival. Duscussion: In conclusion, hepatocytes exposed to direct and indirect oxidative stress inducers are able to cope with cellular stress associated with viral hepatitis and thus promote cell survival.
Project description:Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is accompanied by the induction of oxidative stress, mediated by several virus proteins, the most prominent being the nucleocapsid protein (HCV core). Here, using the truncated forms of HCV core, we have delineated several mechanisms by which it induces the oxidative stress. The N-terminal 36 amino acids of HCV core induced TGF\(\upbeta\)1-dependent expression of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidases 1 and 4, both of which independently contributed to the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). The same fragment also induced the expression of cyclo-oxygenase 2, which, however, made no input into ROS production. Amino acids 37-191 of HCV core up-regulated the transcription of a ROS generating enzyme cytochrome P450 2E1. Furthermore, the same fragment induced the expression of endoplasmic reticulum oxidoreductin 1\(\upalpha\). The latter triggered efflux of Ca2+ from ER to mitochondria via mitochondrial Ca2+ uniporter, leading to generation of superoxide anions, and possibly also H2O2. Suppression of any of these pathways in cells expressing the full-length core protein led to a partial inhibition of ROS production. Thus, HCV core causes oxidative stress via several independent pathways, each mediated by a distinct region of the protein.
Project description:Replication of hepatitis C virus (HCV) is associated with the induction of oxidative stress, which is thought to play a major role in various liver pathologies associated with chronic hepatitis C. NS5A protein of the virus is one of the two key viral proteins that are known to trigger production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). To date it has been considered that NS5A induces oxidative stress by altering calcium homeostasis. Herein we show that NS5A-induced oxidative stress was only moderately inhibited by the intracellular calcium chelator BAPTA-AM and not at all inhibited by the drug that blocks the Ca(2+) flux from ER to mitochondria. Furthermore, ROS production was not accompanied by induction of ER oxidoreductins (Ero1), H2O2-producing enzymes that are implicated in the regulation of calcium fluxes. Instead, we found that NS5A contributes to ROS production by activating expression of NADPH oxidases 1 and 4 as well as cytochrome P450 2E1. These effects were mediated by domain I of NS5A protein. NOX1 and NOX4 induction was mediated by enhanced production of transforming growth factor ?1 (TGF?1). Thus, our data show that NS5A protein induces oxidative stress by several multistep mechanisms.
Project description:Purpose:This study aimed to investigate the differential responses of trabecular meshwork stem cells (TMSCs) and trabecular meshwork (TM) cells to endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress inducers. Methods:Human TM cells and TMSCs were exposed to tunicamycin, brefeldin A, or thapsigargin. Cell apoptosis was evaluated by flow cytometry. ER stress markers were detected by quantitative PCR, Western blotting, and immunostaining. Morphologic changes were evaluated by transmission electron microscopy. Cells were treated with the PERK inhibitor GSK2606414 or the elF2? dephosphorylation inhibitor Salubrinal together with tunicamycin to evaluate their effects on ER stress. Results:Both TMSCs and TM cells underwent apoptosis after 48- and 72-hour treatment with ER stress inducers. ER stress triggered the unfolded protein response (UPR) with increased expression of GRP78, sXBP1, and CHOP, which was significantly lower in TMSCs than TM cells. Swollen ER and mitochondria were detected in both TMSCs and TM cells. Neither GSK2606414 nor salubrinal alone activated UPR. GSK2606414 significantly reduced cell survival rates after tunicamycin treatment, and salubrinal increased cell survival rates. The increased expression of GRP78, sXBP1, CHOP, and GADD34 peaked at 6 or 12 hours and lasted longer in TM cells than TMSCs. Salubrinal treatment dramatically increased OCT4 and CHI3L1 expression in TMSCs. Conclusions:In response to ER stress inducers, TMSCs activated a lower level of UPR and lasted shorter than TM cells. Inhibition of elF2? dephosphorylation had a protective mechanism against cell death. Stem cells combined with salubrinal may be a more effective way for TM regeneration in glaucoma.
Project description:Hepatitis C virus (HCV) replication is associated with endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and its infection triggers ER stress. In response to ER stress, ER overload response (EOR) can be activated, which involves the release of Ca2+ from ER, production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and activation of nuclear factor ?B (NF-?B). We have previously reported that HCV NS4B expression activates NF-?B via EOR-Ca2+-ROS pathway. Here, we showed that NS4B expression and HCV infection activated cancer-related NF-?B signaling pathway and induced the expression of cancer-related NF-?B target genes via EOR-Ca2+-ROS pathway. Moreover, we found that HCV-activated EOR-Ca2+-ROS pathway had profound effects on host cell viability and HCV replication. HCV infection induced human hepatocyte death by EOR-Ca2+-ROS pathway, whereas activation of EOR-Ca2+-ROS-NF-?B pathway increased the cell viability. Meanwhile, EOR-Ca2+-ROS-NF-?B pathway inhibited acute HCV replication, which could alleviate the detrimental effect of HCV on cell viability and enhance chronic HCV infection. Together, our findings provide new insights into the functions of EOR-Ca2+-ROS-NF-?B pathway in natural HCV replication and pathogenesis.
Project description:BACKGROUND:We previously reported that the hepatitis C virus (HCV) nonstructural protein 5A (NS5A) down-regulates TLR4 signaling and lipopolysaccharide-induced apoptosis of hepatocytes. There have been several reports regarding the association between HCV infection and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. Here, we examined the regulation of HCV NS5A on the apoptosis of hepatocytes induced by thapsigargin, an inducer of ER stress. METHODS:The apoptotic response to thapsigargin and the expression of molecules involved in human hepatocyte apoptotic pathways were examined in the presence or absence of HCV NS5A expression. RESULTS:HCV JFH1 infection induced ER stress in the Huh7 cell line. HCV NS5A protected HepG2 cells against thapsigargin-induced apoptosis, the effect of which was linked to the enhanced expression of the 78-kDa glucose-regulated protein/immunoglobulin heavy-chain binding protein (GRP78). Consistent with a conferred pro-survival advantage, HCV NS5A reduced poly(adenosine diphosphate-ribose) polymerase cleavage and activation of caspases-3, -7 and -9, and Bax expression, while increasing the expressions of the anti-apoptotic molecules XIAP and c-FLIP. HCV NS5A weakly interacts with GRP78 and enhances GRP78 expression in hepatocytes. CONCLUSION:HCV NS5A enhances GRP78 expression, resulting in the inhibition of apoptotic properties, and inhibits thapsigargin-induced apoptotic pathways in human hepatocytes, suggesting that disruption of ER stress-mediated apoptosis may have a role in the pathogenesis of HCV infection. Thus, HCV NS5A might engender the survival of HCV-infected hepatocytes contributing to the establishment of persistent infection.
Project description:HCV replication disrupts normal endoplasmic reticulum (ER) function and activates a signaling network called the unfolded protein response (UPR). UPR is directed by three ER transmembrane proteins including ATF6, IRE1, and PERK. HCV increases TGF-β1 and oxidative stress, which play important roles in liver fibrogenesis. HCV has been shown to induce TGF-β1 through the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and p38 MAPK, JNK, ERK1/2, and NFκB-dependent pathways. However, the relationship between HCV-induced ER stress and UPR activation with TGF-β1 production has not been fully characterized. In this study, we found that ROS and JNK inhibitors block HCV up-regulation of ER stress and UPR activation. ROS, JNK and IRE1 inhibitors blocked HCV-activated NFκB and TGF-β1 expression. ROS, ER stress, NFκB, and TGF-β1 signaling were blocked by JNK specific siRNA. Knockdown IRE1 inhibited JFH1-activated NFκB and TGF-β1 activity. Knockdown of JNK and IRE1 blunted JFH1 HCV up-regulation of NFκB and TGF-β1 activation. We conclude that HCV activates NFκB and TGF-β1 through ROS production and induction of JNK and the IRE1 pathway. HCV infection induces ER stress and the UPR in a JNK-dependent manner. ER stress and UPR activation partially contribute to HCV-induced NF-κB activation and enhancement of TGF-β1.
Project description:Oxidative stress has been identified as a key mechanism of hepatitis C virus (HCV)-induced pathogenesis. Studies have suggested that HCV increases the generation of hydroxyl radical and peroxynitrite close to the cell nucleus, inflicting DNA damage, but the source of reactive oxygen species (ROS) remains incompletely characterized. We hypothesized that HCV increases the generation of superoxide and hydrogen peroxide close to the hepatocyte nucleus and that this source of ROS is reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NAD(P)H) oxidase 4 (Nox4). Huh7 human hepatoma cells and telomerase-reconstituted primary human hepatocytes, transfected or infected with virus-producing HCV strains of genotypes 2a and 1b, were examined for messenger RNA (mRNA), protein, and subcellular localization of Nox proteins along with the human liver. We found that genotype 2a HCV induced persistent elevations of Nox1 and Nox4 mRNA and proteins in Huh7 cells. HCV genotype 1b likewise elevated the levels of Nox1 and Nox4 in telomerase-reconstituted primary human hepatocytes. Furthermore, Nox1 and Nox4 proteins were increased in HCV-infected human liver versus uninfected liver samples. Unlike Nox1, Nox4 was prominent in the nuclear compartment of these cells as well as the human liver, particularly in the presence of HCV. HCV-induced ROS and nuclear nitrotyrosine could be decreased with small interfering RNAs to Nox1 and Nox4. Finally, HCV increased the level of transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGFbeta1). TGFbeta1 could elevate Nox4 expression in the presence of infectious HCV, and HCV increased Nox4 at least in part through TGFbeta1.HCV induced a persistent elevation of Nox1 and Nox4 and increased nuclear localization of Nox4 in hepatocytes in vitro and in the human liver. Hepatocyte Nox proteins are likely to act as a persistent, endogenous source of ROS during HCV-induced pathogenesis.
Project description:Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a blood-borne pathogen and a major cause of liver disease worldwide. Gene expression profiling was used to characterize the transcriptional response to HCV H77c infection. Evidence is presented for activation of innate antiviral signaling pathways as well as induction of lipid metabolism genes, which may contribute to oxidative stress. We also found that infection of chimeric SCID/Alb-uPA mice by HCV led to signs of hepatocyte damage and apoptosis, which in patients plays a role in activation of stellate cells, recruitment of macrophages, and the subsequent development of fibrosis. Infection of chimeric mice with HCV H77c also led an inflammatory response characterized by infiltration of monocytes and macrophages. There was increased apoptosis in HCV-infected human hepatocytes in H77c-infected mice but not in mice inoculated with a replication incompetent H77c mutant. Moreover, TUNEL reactivity was restricted to HCV-infected hepatocytes, but an increase in FAS expression was not. To gain insight into the factors contributing specific apoptosis of HCV infected cells, immunohistological and confocal microscopy using antibodies for key apoptotic mediators was done. We found that the ER chaperone BiP/GRP78 was increased in HCV-infected cells as was activated BAX, but the activator of ER stress-mediated apoptosis CHOP was not. We found that overall levels of NF-kappaB and BCL-xL were increased by infection; however, within an infected liver, comparison of infected cells to uninfected cells indicated both NF-kappaB and BCL-xL were decreased in HCV-infected cells. We conclude that HCV contributes to hepatocyte damage and apoptosis by inducing stress and pro-apoptotic BAX while preventing the induction of anti-apoptotic NF-kappaB and BCL-xL, thus sensitizing hepatocytes to apoptosis.
Project description:Viral hepatitis-induced oxidative stress accompanied by increased levels of transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta) and hepatic fibrosis are hallmarks of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. The mechanisms of redox regulation in the pathogenesis of HCV-induced liver disease are not clearly understood. The results of our current studies suggest that reactive oxygen species (ROS) derived from Nox4, a member of the NADPH oxidase (Nox) family, could play a role in HCV-induced liver disease. We found that the expression of HCV (genotype 1a) cDNA constructs (full-length and subgenomic), core protein alone, viral RNA, or replicating HCV (JFH-AM2) induced Nox4 mRNA expression and ROS generation in human hepatocyte cell lines (Huh-7, Huh-7.5, HepG2, and CHL). Conversely, hepatocytes expressing Nox4 short hairpin RNA (shRNA) or an inactive dominant negative form of Nox4 showed decreased ROS production when cells were transfected with HCV. The promoters of both human and murine Nox4 were used to demonstrate transcriptional regulation of Nox4 mRNA by HCV, and a luciferase reporter tied to an approximately 2-kb promoter region of Nox4 identified HCV-responsive regulatory regions modulating the expression of Nox4. Furthermore, the human Nox4 promoter was responsive to TGF-beta1, and the HCV core-dependent induction of Nox4 was blocked by antibody against TGF-beta or the expression of dominant negative TGF-beta receptor type II. These findings identified HCV as a regulator of Nox4 gene expression and subsequent ROS production through an autocrine TGF-beta-dependent mechanism. Collectively, these data provide evidence that HCV-induced Nox4 contributes to ROS production and may be related to HCV-induced liver disease.
Project description:Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection frequently leads to chronic liver disease, liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The molecular mechanisms by which HCV infection leads to chronic liver disease and HCC are not well understood. The infection cycle of HCV is initiated by the attachment and entry of virus particles into a hepatocyte. Replication of the HCV genome inside hepatocytes leads to accumulation of large amounts of viral proteins and RNA replication intermediates in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), resulting in production of thousands of new virus particles. HCV-infected hepatocytes mount a substantial stress response. How the infected hepatocyte integrates the viral-induced stress response with chronic infection is unknown. The unfolded protein response (UPR), an ER-associated cellular transcriptional response, is activated in HCV infected hepatocytes. Over the past several years, research performed by a number of laboratories, including ours, has shown that HCV induced UPR robustly activates autophagy to sustain viral replication in the infected hepatocyte. Induction of the cellular autophagy response is required to improve survival of infected cells by inhibition of cellular apoptosis. The autophagy response also inhibits the cellular innate antiviral program that usually inhibits HCV replication. In this review, we discuss the physiological implications of the HCV-induced chronic ER-stress response in the liver disease progression.