1887

Abstract

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) E1 and E2 envelope glycoproteins (GPs) displayed on retroviral cores (HCVpp) are a powerful and highly versatile model system to investigate wild-type HCV entry. To further characterize this model system, the cellular site of HCVpp assembly and the respective roles of the HCV GPs in this process were investigated. By using a combination of biochemical methods with confocal and electron microscopic techniques, it was shown that, in cells producing HCVpp, both E1 and E2 colocalized with retroviral core proteins intracellularly, presumably in multivesicular bodies, but not at the cell surface. When E1 and E2 were expressed individually with retroviral core proteins, only E2 colocalized with and was incorporated on retroviral cores. Conversely, the colocalization of E1 with retroviral core proteins and its efficient incorporation occurred only upon co-expression of E2. Moreover, HCVpp infectivity correlated strictly with the presence of both E1 and E2 on retroviral cores. Altogether, these results confirm that the E1E2 heterodimer constitutes the prebudding form of functional HCV GPs and, more specifically, show that dimerization with E2 is a prerequisite for efficient E1 incorporation onto particles.

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2005-12-01
2019-11-18
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