1887

Abstract

Proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) is a serine protease actively involved in regulating lipid homeostasis. Although PCSK9 has been shown to inhibit hepatitis C virus (HCV) entry and replication, the underlying mechanisms have not been thoroughly characterized. Moreover, whether PCSK9 regulates HCV translation and assembly/secretion has not been determined. We therefore further studied the effects of PCSK9 on the HCV life cycle. We showed that PCSK9 did not affect HCV translation or assembly/secretion. Overexpression of PCSK9 inhibited HCV replication in HCV genomic replicon cells in a dose-dependent manner and after cell culture-derived HCV (HCVcc) infection. Knocking down PCSK9 increased HCV replication. The gain-of-function (D374Y) or loss-of-function (Δaa. 31–52) PCSK9 mutants for low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR) degradation had no effect on HCV replication, suggesting that HCV replication inhibition by PCSK9 was not due to LDLR degradation. The uncleaved ProPCSK9, but not cleaved PCSK9, down-regulated HCV replication, suggesting that the auto-cleavage of PCSK9 affected HCV replication. We also found that PCSK9 interacted with NS5A through NS5A aa. 95–215, and this region played an important role in NS5A dimerization, NS5A-RNA binding and was essential for HCV replication. More importantly, NS5A dimerization and NS5A-RNA binding were suppressed by PCSK9 upon interaction. These results suggested that PCSK9 inhibited HCV replication through interaction with NS5A. Our study should help optimize anti-HCV treatment regimen in patients with abnormal lipid profiles.

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2017-12-13
2019-10-18
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