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Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2012 May;32(5):1099-103. doi: 10.1161/ATVBAHA.111.241448.

Hepatitis C virus: a new class of virus associated with particles derived from very low-density lipoproteins.

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  • Department of Molecular Genetics, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX 75390-9046, USA. jin.ye@utsouthwestern.edu


Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infects 3% of the world population and is the leading cause of liver failure in the United States. A unique feature of HCV is that the viral particles are integral to very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL)-derived lipoprotein particles. The virus is assembled into VLDL in hepatocytes and released out of the cells together with VLDL. The virus then infects more hepatocytes by entering the cells through the low-density lipoprotein receptor, which mediates uptake of majorities of VLDL-derived lipoprotein particles. These observations suggest that HCV may belong to a novel class of viruses that is associated with VLDL. Understanding the relationship between HCV and VLDL metabolism may reveal new strategies to treat HCV infection.

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