1887

Abstract

The proteasomal activator 28γ (PA28γ), frequently overexpressed in hepatocellular carcinoma, is believed to play several important roles in hepatitis C virus (HCV) replication and viral pathogenesis. However, the underlying mechanism for PA28γ overexpression in hepatocellular carcinoma and its role during HCV replication are still unclear. In the present study, we found that HCV core derived from either ectopic expression or HCV infection upregulates PA28γ levels in p53-positive human hepatocytes. For this effect, HCV core sequentially activated ataxia telangiectasia mutated and checkpoint kinase 2 via phosphorylation at Ser-1981 and Thr-68 residues, respectively, resulting in stabilization of p53 via phosphorylation at Ser-15 and Ser-20 residues and subsequent transcriptional activation of PA28γ expression. The elevated PA28γ in turn downregulated HCV core levels by either inducing its ubiquitination-dependent proteasomal degradation via upregulation of E6AP levels in the presence of p53 or activating an ubiquitin-independent proteasomal degradation pathway in the absence of p53, which ultimately led to a decrease in HCV propagation. HCV core modulates its own protein level via a negative feedback loop involving p53 and PA28γ to control HCV replication in p53-positive hepatocytes, which may help HCV evade immune responses and establish chronic infection.

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2017-02-06
2019-09-18
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