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:Goal was to investigate the transcriptional effect of Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) infection upon hepatic gene expression in a primary tissue system. Cultured Primary human hepatocytes were infected with HCV (genotype 2a-JFH1) and maintained through a timecourse in parallel with matched controls of uninfected cells culture.These samples are a subset of a larger experiment to be published at a later date, which also included treatments with Type I and Type II interferons.
Project description:Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a leading cause of liver disease worldwide. Although several HCV protease/polymerase inhibitors were recently approved by U.S. FDA, the combination of antivirals targeting multiple processes of HCV lifecycle would optimize anti-HCV therapy and against potential drug-resistance. Viral entry is an essential target step for antiviral development, but FDA-approved HCV entry inhibitor remains exclusive. Here we identify serotonin 2A receptor (5-HT2AR) is a HCV entry factor amendable to therapeutic intervention by a chemical biology strategy. The silencing of 5-HT2AR and clinically available 5-HT2AR antagonist suppress cell culture-derived HCV (HCVcc) in different liver cells and primary human hepatocytes at late endocytosis process. The mechanism is related to regulate the correct plasma membrane localization of claudin 1 (CLDN1). Moreover, phenoxybenzamine (PBZ), an FDA-approved 5-HT2AR antagonist, inhibits all major HCV genotypes in vitro and displays synergy in combination with clinical used anti-HCV drugs. The impact of PBZ on HCV genotype 2a is documented in immune-competent humanized transgenic mice. Our results not only expand the understanding of HCV entry, but also present a promising target for the invention of HCV entry inhibitor.
Project description:Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection promotes metabolic disorders, and the severity of lipogenic disease depends upon the infecting virus genotype. Here, we have examined HCV genotype 1-, 2-, or 3-specific regulation of lipid metabolism, involving transforming growth factor ? (TGF-?)-regulated phospho-Akt (p-Akt) and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPAR?) axes. Since HCV core protein is one of the key players in metabolic regulation, we also examined its contribution in lipid metabolic pathways. The expression of regulatory molecules, TGF-?1/2, phospho-Akt (Ser473), PPAR?, sterol regulatory element-binding protein 1 (SREBP-1), fatty acid synthase (FASN), hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL), and acyl dehydrogenases was analyzed in virus-infected hepatocytes. Interestingly, HCV genotype 3a exhibited much higher activation of TGF-? and p-Akt, with a concurrent decrease in PPAR? expression and fatty acid oxidation. A significant and similar decrease in HSL, unlike in HCV genotype 1a, was observed with both genotypes 2a and 3a. Similar observations were made from ectopic expression of the core genomic region from each genotype. The key role of TGF-? was further verified using specific small interfering RNA (siRNA). Together, our results highlight a significant difference in TGF-?-induced activity for the HCV genotype 2a- or 3a-induced lipogenic pathway, exhibiting higher triglyceride synthesis and a decreased lipolytic mechanism. These results may help in therapeutic modalities for early treatment of HCV genotype-associated lipid metabolic disorders.IMPORTANCE Hepatic steatosis is a frequent complication associated with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and is a key prognostic indicator for progression to fibrosis and cirrhosis. Several mechanisms are proposed for the development of steatosis, especially with HCV genotype 3a. Our observations suggest that transforming growth factor ? (TGF-?) and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPAR?)-associated mechanistic pathways in hepatocytes infected with HCV genotype 2a and 3a differ from those in cells infected with genotype 1a. The results suggest that a targeted therapeutic approach for enhanced PPAR? and lipolysis may reduce HCV genotype-associated lipid metabolic disorder in liver disease.
Project description:The role of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) p7 protein in the virus life cycle is not known. Previous in vitro data indicated that this 63-aa polypeptide is located in the endoplasmic reticulum and has two transmembrane domains (TMDs) connected by a cytoplasmic loop; the amino- and carboxyl-terminal tails are oriented toward the endoplasmic reticulum lumen. Furthermore, recent in vitro studies suggested that HCV p7 could function as a virus-encoded ion channel. It might therefore be a relevant target for future drug development. We studied the role of HCV p7 in vivo. Because HCV does not replicate efficiently in cell culture, we mutagenized p7 of an infectious genotype 1a cDNA clone and tested RNA transcripts of each mutant for infectivity in chimpanzees by intrahepatic transfection. Appropriate processing of mutant polypeptides was confirmed by studies in transfected mammalian cells. Mutants with deletions of all or part of p7 and a mutant with substitutions of two conserved residues in the cytoplasmic loop were not viable. Thus, p7 is essential for infectivity of HCV. A chimera in which the p7 of the 1a clone was replaced with p7 from an infectious genotype 2a clone also was not viable. This finding suggests a genotype-specific interaction between p7 and other genomic regions. To define which portions of p7 played the most significant role for this interaction, we tested three chimeras with the 1a backbone in which only specific domains of p7 had the 2a sequence. A p7 chimera with 2a tails and TMDs and the 1a cytoplasmic loop was not viable. A mutant with 2a tails and cytoplasmic loop and 1a TMDs also was not viable. However, a p7 chimera with 2a TMDs and cytoplasmic loop and 1a tails was viable. The transfected chimpanzee became viremic at week 2, and recovered viruses had the chimeric sequence. These data indicate that the amino- and/or carboxyl-terminal intraluminal tails of p7 contain sequences with genotype-specific function.
Project description:Hepatitis C virus (HCV) often leads to persistent infection. Interferon (IFN) and IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs) are amplified during HCV infection but fail to eliminate virus from the liver in a large number of infected patients. We have observed previously that HCV infection induces IFN-? production in immortalized human hepatocytes (IHH) as early as 24 h after infection, although virus replication is not inhibited. To gain insights on possible countermeasures of virus for the suppression of host antiviral response, the cellular transcriptional profiles of ISGs were examined after various treatments of IHH. The majority of ISGs were upregulated in IFN-treated IHH from the level for mock-treated cells. However, the comparison of ISG expression in IFN-treated IHH and IFN-pretreated, HCV genotype 2a-infected IHH indicated that virus infection suppresses the upregulation of a subset of effector molecules, including ISG56 and IFITM1. Similar results were observed for HCV-infected Huh7 cells. Subsequent study suggested that the exogenous expression of ISG56 or IFITM1 inhibits HCV replication in IHH or Huh7 cells, and the knockdown of these genes enhanced HCV replication. Further characterization revealed that the overexpression of these ISGs does not block HCV pseudotype entry into Huh7 cells. Taken together, our results demonstrated that ISG56 and IFITM1 serve as important molecules to restrict HCV infection, and they may have implications in the development of therapeutic modalities.
Project description:One way to dissect the antibody response to an invading microorganism is to clone the antibody repertoire from immune donors and subsequently characterize the specific antibodies. Recently, methodological advances have allowed investigations of neutralizing antibodies against hepatitis C virus (HCV) in vitro. We have investigated three human mAbs, previously isolated from an individual infected with HCV of genotype 2b, that are known to cross-react in a binding assay to the envelope E2 protein of genotypes 1a and 1b. We now report that two of them have a neutralizing activity with a breadth not previously observed. Indeed, mAbs 1:7 and A8 recognized E2 from all of the six major genotypes, and they neutralized retroviral pseudoparticles [HCV pseudoparticles (HCVpp)] carrying genetically equally diverse HCV envelope glycoproteins. Importantly, these antibodies were also able to neutralize the cell culture infectious HCV clone JFH-1 in vitro, with IC(50) values of 60 ng/ml and 560 ng/ml, respectively. The conformational epitopes of these two broadly reactive antibodies were overlapping yet distinct and involved amino acid residues in the 523-535 region of E2, known to be important for the E2-CD81 interaction. The third antibody clone, representing a dominant population in the initial screen for these antibodies, was less broadly reactive and was unable to neutralize the genotype 2a infectious clone JFH-1. Our results confirm at the clonal level that broadly neutralizing human anti-HCV antibodies can be elicited and that the region amino acids 523-535 of the HCV envelope glycoprotein E2 carries neutralizing epitopes conserved across all genotypes.
Project description:UNLABELLED:At least 170 million people are chronically infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV). Owing to the narrow host range of HCV and restricted use of chimpanzees, there is currently no suitable animal model for HCV pathogenesis studies or the development of a HCV vaccine. To identify cellular determinants of interspecies transmission and establish a novel immunocompetent model system, we examined the ability of HCV to infect hepatocytes from a small nonhuman primate, the rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta). We show that the rhesus orthologs of critical HCV entry factors support viral glycoprotein-dependent virion uptake. Primary hepatocytes from rhesus macaques are also permissive for HCV-RNA replication and particle production, which is enhanced when antiviral signaling is suppressed. We demonstrate that this may be owing to the diminished capacity of HCV to antagonize mitochondrial antiviral-signaling protein-dependent innate cellular defenses. To test the ability of HCV to establish persistent replication in vivo, we engrafted primary rhesus macaque hepatocytes into immunocompromised xenorecipients. Inoculation of resulting simian liver chimeric mice with either HCV genotype 1a or 2a resulted in HCV serum viremia for up to 10 weeks. CONCLUSION:Together, these data indicate that rhesus macaques may be a viable model for HCV and implicate host immunity as a potential species-specific barrier to HCV infection. We conclude that suppression of host immunity or further viral adaptation may allow robust HCV infection in rhesus macaques and creation of a new animal model for studies of HCV pathogenesis, lentivirus coinfection, and vaccine development.
Project description:The standard treatment, pegylated interferon (PEG-IFN) plus ribavirin (RBV), for patients with chronic hepatitis C (CHC), does not provide a sustained virologic response (SVR) in a large majority of patients. In the present study, 211 treatment-naïve patients with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 1b and 2a were recruited and treated weekly with PEG-IFN plus RBV to determine the response of HCV genotype 1b and 2a patients to standard antiviral treatment. Virologic responses were assessed by TaqMan at week 4, 12, 24, 48 and 24 weeks of treatment. Patients with HCV genotype 2a had a significantly higher rapid virologic response (RVR), early virologic response, end-of-treatment response and SVR, and a lower relapse rate than patients with HCV genotype 1b. Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that the HCV genotype 2a patients had a HCV RNA level ≤ 5.70 log10 IU/ml, a fibrosis stage < S3, and that HLA-A02 expression and RVR were independent factors of SVR that may improve HCV clearance.
Project description:Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection affects an estimated 185 million people worldwide, with chronic infection often leading to liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Although HCV is curable, there is an unmet need for the development of effective and affordable treatment options. Through a cell-based high-throughput screen, we identified chlorcyclizine HCl (CCZ), an over-the-counter drug for allergy symptoms, as a potent inhibitor of HCV infection. CCZ inhibited HCV infection in human hepatoma cells and primary human hepatocytes. The mode of action of CCZ is mediated by inhibiting an early stage of HCV infection, probably targeting viral entry into host cells. The in vitro antiviral effect of CCZ was synergistic with other anti-HCV drugs, including ribavirin, interferon-?, telaprevir, boceprevir, sofosbuvir, daclatasvir, and cyclosporin A, without significant cytotoxicity, suggesting its potential in combination therapy of hepatitis C. In the mouse pharmacokinetic model, CCZ showed preferential liver distribution. In chimeric mice engrafted with primary human hepatocytes, CCZ significantly inhibited infection of HCV genotypes 1b and 2a, without evidence of emergence of drug resistance, during 4 and 6 weeks of treatment, respectively. With its established clinical safety profile as an allergy medication, affordability, and a simple chemical structure for optimization, CCZ represents a promising candidate for drug repurposing and further development as an effective and accessible agent for treatment of HCV infection.