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The hypervariable region 1 of the E2 glycoprotein of hepatitis C virus binds to glycosaminoglycans, but this binding does not lead to infection in a pseudotype system


, : The hypervariable region 1 of the E2 glycoprotein of hepatitis C virus binds to glycosaminoglycans, but this binding does not lead to infection in a pseudotype system. Journal of Virology 78(9): 4478-4486

The hypervariable region 1 (HVR1) of hepatitis C virus (HCV) E2 envelope glycoprotein is a 27-amino-acid sequence located at its N terminus. In this study, we investigated the functional role of HVR1 for interaction with the mammalian cell surface. The C-terminal truncated E2 glycoprotein was appended to a transmembrane domain and cytoplasmic tail of vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) G protein for generation of the chimeric E2-G gene construct. A deletion of the HVR1 sequence from E2 was created for the construction of E2DeltaHVR1-G. Pseudotype virus, generated separately by infection of a stable cell line expressing E2-G or E2DeltaHVR1-G with a temperature-sensitive mutant of VSV (VSVts045), displayed unique functional properties compared to VSVts045 as a negative control. Virus generated from E2DeltaHVR1-G had a reduced plaquing efficiency ( approximately 50%) in HepG2 cells compared to that for the E2-G virus. Cells prior treated with pronase (0.5 U/ml) displayed a complete inhibition of infectivity of the E2DeltaHVR1-G or E2-G pseudotypes, whereas heparinase I treatment (8 U/ml) of cells reduced 40% E2-G pseudotype virus titer only. E2DeltaHVR1-G pseudotypes were not sensitive to heparin (6 to 50 micro g/ml) as an inhibitor of plaque formation compared to the E2-G pseudotype virus. Although the HVR1 sequence itself does not match with the known heparin-binding domain, a synthetic peptide representing 27 amino acids of the E2 HVR1 displayed a strong affinity for heparin in an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. This binding was competitively inhibited by a peptide from the V3 loop of a human immunodeficiency virus glycoprotein subunit (gp120) known to bind with cell surface heparin. Taken together, our results suggest that the HVR1 of E2 glycoprotein binds to the cell surface proteoglycans and may facilitate virus-host interaction for replication cycle of HCV.

US$19.90

PMID: 15078928

DOI: 10.1128/JVI.78.9.4478-4486.2004


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