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Subcellular forms and biochemical events triggered in human cells by HCV polyprotein expression from a viral vector

Author(s): Vandermeeren Andrée | Gómez Carmen | Patiño Cristina | Domingo-Gil Elena | Guerra Susana | González Jose | Esteban Mariano

Journal: Virology Journal
ISSN 1743-422X

Volume: 5;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 102;
Date: 2008;
Original page

Abstract To identify the subcellular forms and biochemical events induced in human cells after HCV polyprotein expression, we have used a robust cell culture system based on vaccinia virus (VACV) that efficiently expresses in infected cells the structural and nonstructural proteins of HCV from genotype 1b (VT7-HCV7.9). As determined by confocal microscopy, HCV proteins expressed from VT7-HCV7.9 localize largely in a globular-like distribution pattern in the cytoplasm, with some proteins co-localizing with the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and mitochondria. As examined by electron microscopy, HCV proteins induced formation of large electron-dense cytoplasmic structures derived from the ER and containing HCV proteins. In the course of HCV protein production, there is disruption of the Golgi apparatus, loss of spatial organization of the ER, appearance of some "virus-like" structures and swelling of mitochondria. Biochemical analysis demonstrate that HCV proteins bring about the activation of initiator and effector caspases followed by severe apoptosis and mitochondria dysfunction, hallmarks of HCV cell injury. Microarray analysis revealed that HCV polyprotein expression modulated transcription of genes associated with lipid metabolism, oxidative stress, apoptosis, and cellular proliferation. Our findings demonstrate the uniqueness of the VT7-HCV7.9 system to characterize morphological and biochemical events related to HCV pathogenesis.
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Tango Jona
Tangokurs Rapperswil-Jona