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Effect of interaction between hepatitis C virus NS5A and NS5B on hepatitis C virus RNA replication with the hepatitis C virus replicon

, : Effect of interaction between hepatitis C virus NS5A and NS5B on hepatitis C virus RNA replication with the hepatitis C virus replicon. Journal of Virology 78(6): 2738-2748

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) NS5A has been reported to be important for the establishment of replication by adaptive mutations or localization, although its role in viral replication remains unclear. It was previously reported that NS5A interacts with NS5B via two regions of NS5A in the isolate JK-1 and modulates the activity of NS5B RdRp (Y. Shirota et al., J. Biol. Chem., 277:11149-11155, 2002), but the biological significance of this interaction has not been determined. In this study, we addressed the effect of this interaction on HCV RNA replication with an HCV replicon system derived from the isolate M1LE (H. Kishine et al., Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun., 293:993-999, 2002). We constructed three internal deletion mutants, M1LE/5Adel-1 and M1LE/5Adel-2, each encoding NS5A which cannot bind NS5B, and M1LE/5Adel-3, encoding NS5A that can bind NS5B. After transfection into Huh-7 cells, M1LE/5Adel-3 was replication competent, but both M1LE/5Adel-1 and M1LE/5Adel-2 were not. Next we prepared 20 alanine-substituted clustered mutants within both NS5B-binding regions and examined the effect of these mutants on HCV RNA replication. Only 5 of the 20 mutants were replication competent. Subsequently, we introduced a point mutation, S225P, a deletion of S229, or S2321 into NSSA and prepared cured Huh-7 cells that were cured of RNA replication by alpha interferon. Finally, with these point mutations and cured cells, we established a highly improved replicon system. In this system, only the same five mutants were replication competent. These results strongly suggest that the interaction between NS5A and NSSB is critical for HCV RNA replication in the HCV replicon system.


PMID: 14990694

DOI: 10.1128/JVI.78.6.2738-2748.2004

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