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J Biol Chem. 2004 Mar 26;279(13):12232-41. Epub 2004 Jan 5.

The Hepatitis C virus NS5A protein activates a phosphoinositide 3-kinase-dependent survival signaling cascade.

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  • 1School of Biochemistry and Microbiology, Astbury Centre for Structural Molecular Biology, University of Leeds, Mount Preston Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire LS2 9JT, United Kingdom.

Abstract

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) establishes a persistent infection, with up to 80% of infected individuals proceeding to chronic hepatitis, which in many cases may result in liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC); indeed HCV infection is increasingly associated with the development of HCC. The long time period (up to 30 years) between primary infection and the onset of HCC implies that HCV is not directly oncogenic but in some way predisposes patients to develop tumors, though the mechanism for this is unclear as yet. We report here that NS5A binds directly to the Src homology 3 domain of the p85 regulatory subunit of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K), and this interaction is mediated by a novel (non-proline-rich) motif within NS5A. Coimmunoprecipitation analysis revealed that NS5A bound native heterodimeric PI3K and enhanced the phosphotransferase activity of the catalytic (p110) subunit both in vitro and in human cell lines harboring a subgenomic HCV replicon or expressing NS5A alone. NS5A-mediated activation of PI3K resulted in increased phosphorylation and activity of Akt/protein kinase B and concomitantly provided protection against the induction of apoptosis in both replicon-harboring cells and cells stably expressing NS5A alone. These data suggest that stimulation of PI3K by NS5A may represent an indirect mechanism for development of HCC in HCV-infected patients and further suggests potential therapeutic strategies to counteract the occurrence of HCV-related HCC.

PMID:
14709551
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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