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J Gen Virol. 2005 Sep;86(Pt 9):2507-12.

Analysis of the binding of hepatitis C virus genotype 1a and 1b E2 glycoproteins to peripheral blood mononuclear cell subsets.

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  • 1The Edward Jenner Institute for Vaccine Research, Compton, Newbury RG20 7NN, UK.


Hepatitis C virus (HCV) binding to hepatocytes is thought to be mediated via interaction of the E2 glycoprotein with (co-)receptors including CD81 and scavenger receptor class B type I (SR-BI). Here, the expression of CD81 and SR-BI was analysed on peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) subsets, and the binding of genotype 1 soluble truncated E2 (sE2) proteins to these cells was investigated. All PBMC subsets expressed CD81, although at varying levels. In contrast, SR-BI was only detected on monocytes and dendritic cells (DCs). The genotype 1a H77c sE2 protein showed higher PBMC binding than other genotype 1a/b sE2s. H77c sE2 binding to different PBMC subsets largely paralleled their level of CD81 expression, and could be inhibited by blocking E2-CD81 interaction. However, those PBMC subsets reported to be infected by HCV in vivo (monocytes, DCs and B cells) also exhibited residual, CD81-independent binding, indicating roles for SR-BI/other receptor(s) in mediating haematopoietic cell infection.

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