1887

Abstract

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) non-structural protein 5A (NS5A) is essential for viral replication; however, its effect on HCV RNA translation remains controversial partially due to the use of reporters lacking the 3′ UTR, where NS5A binds to the poly(U/UC) sequence. We investigated the role of NS5A in HCV translation using a monocistronic RNA containing a luciferase gene flanked by the HCV UTRs. We found that NS5A downregulated viral RNA translation in a dose-dependent manner. This downregulation required both the 5′ and 3′ UTRs of HCV because substitution of either sequence with the 5′ and 3′ UTRs of enterovirus 71 or a cap structure at the 5′ end eliminated the effects of NS5A on translation. Translation of the HCV genomic RNA was also downregulated by NS5A. The inhibition of HCV translation by NS5A required the poly(U/UC) sequence in the 3′ UTR as NS5A did not affect translation when it was deleted. In addition, we showed that, whilst the amphipathic α-helix of NS5A has no effect on viral translation, the three domains of NS5A can inhibit translation independently, also dependent on the presence of the poly(U/UC) sequence in the 3′ UTR. These results suggested that NS5A downregulated HCV RNA translation through a mechanism involving the poly(U/UC) sequence in the 3′ UTR.

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2015-08-01
2020-01-29
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