1887

Abstract

GB virus B (GBV-B) is the closest relative to hepatitis C virus (HCV) with which it shares a common genome organization, however, unlike HCV in humans, it generally causes an acute resolving hepatitis in New World monkeys. It is important to understand the factors regulating the different disease profiles of the two viruses and in this regard, as well as playing a key role in viral RNA replication, the HCV NS5A non-structural protein modulates a variety of host-cell signalling pathways. We have shown previously that HCV NS5A, expressed either alone, or in the context of the complete polyprotein, inhibits the Ras-extracellular-signal-regulated kinase (Erk) pathway and activates the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) pathway. In this report, we investigate whether these functions are shared by GBV-B NS5A. Immunofluorescence analysis revealed that a C-terminally FLAG-tagged GBV-B NS5A exhibited a punctate cytoplasmic distribution. However, unlike HCV NS5A, the GBV-B protein did not partially co-localize with early endosomes. Utilizing a transient luciferase reporter system, we observed that GBV-B NS5A failed to inhibit Ras–Erk signalling, however GBV-B NS5A expression did result in the elevation of -catenin-dependent transcription via activation of the PI3K pathway. These effects of GBV-B and HCV NS5A on the PI3K and Ras–Erk pathways were confirmed in cells harbouring subgenomic replicons derived from the two viruses. Based on these data we speculate that the differential effects of the two NS5A proteins on cellular signalling pathways may contribute to the differences in the natural history of the two viruses.

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2008-08-01
2019-12-06
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