1887

Abstract

Core plays a critical role during hepatitis C virus (HCV) assembly, not only as a structural component of the virion, but also as a regulator of the formation of assembly sites. In this study, we observed that core is expressed later than other HCV proteins in a single viral cycle assay, resulting in a relative increase of core expression during a late step of the viral life cycle. This delayed core expression results from an increase of core half-life, indicating that core is initially degraded and is stabilized at a late step of the HCV life cycle. Stabilization-mediated delayed kinetics of core expression were also observed using heterologous expression systems. Core stabilization did not depend on its interaction with non-structural proteins or lipid droplets but was correlated with its expression levels and its oligomerization status. Therefore in the course of a HCV infection, core stabilization is likely to occur when the prior amplification of the viral genome during an initial replication step allows core to be synthesized at higher levels as a stable protein, during the assembly step of the viral life cycle.

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2015-02-01
2021-03-08
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