1887

Abstract

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) Core has been implicated in immune-mediated mechanisms associated with the development of chronic hepatic diseases. Discovery of different alternative reading frame proteins (ARFPs) expressed from the HCV Core coding sequence challenges properties assigned to Core. This study was designed to evaluate the immunomodulatory functions of Core and ARFPs in monocytes, dendritic cells (DCs), macrophages (M) and hepatocytes, cells that are all capable of supporting HCV replication. THP-1 cells, monocyte-derived M and DCs, and Huh7 cells were infected by using adenoviruses (Ad) encoding Core, CE1E2 and a Core sequence modified so that the Core protein is wild type, but no ARFPs are expressed (CΔARFP). THP-1 cells and DCs infected with Ad encoding Core or CE1E2 produced significant levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6), IL-8, MCP-1 and MIP-1, whereas production of these chemokines with AdCΔARFP was reduced or abolished. Similar effects on IL-8 production were observed in Huh7 cells and on IL-6 and MIP-1 in M. Wild-type Core sequence, but not CΔARFP, could -activate the IL-8 promoter and this activation was not associated with activation of p38/p42–44MAPK. This study illustrates, for the first time, the critical importance of ARFP expression in immunomodulatory functions attributed to Core expression and suggests a potential involvement of ARFP in mechanisms associated with HCV pathogenesis.

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2007-04-01
2019-11-20
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