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Virology. 2000 Oct 10;276(1):214-26.

Functional features of hepatitis C virus glycoproteins for pseudotype virus entry into mammalian cells.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri 63110, USA.


We have previously reported the generation of pseudotype virus from chimeric gene constructs encoding the ectodomain of the E1 or E2 glycoprotein of hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 1a appended to the trans membrane domain and cytoplasmic tail of the vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) G protein. Sera derived from chimpanzees immunized with homologous HCV glycoproteins neutralized pseudotype virus infectivity (L. M. Lagging et al., J. Virol. 72, 3539-3546, 1998). We have now extended this study to further understand the role of HCV glycoproteins in pseudotype virus entry. Although a number of mammalian epithelial cells were susceptible to VSV/HCV pseudotype virus infection, plaquing efficiency was different among host cell lines. Pseudotype virus adsorption at low temperature decreased plaque numbers. Treatment of E1 or E2 pseudotype virus in media between pH 5 and 8 before adsorption on cells did not significantly reduce plaque numbers. On the other hand, treatment of cells with lysosomotropic agents or inhibitors of vacuolar H(+) ATPases had an inhibitory role on virus entry. Concanavalin A, a plant lectin, exhibited neutralization of both HCV E1 and E2 pseudotype virus infectivity. However, mannose binding protein, a C-type mammalian lectin, did not neutralize virus in the absence or presence of serum complement. Pseudotype virus infectivity was only partially inhibited by heparin, a highly sulfated glycosaminoglycan, in a saturable manner. Additional studies suggested that low-density lipoprotein receptor related molecules partially inhibit E1 pseudotype virus infectivity, while CD81 related molecules interfere with E2 pseudotype virus infectivity. A further understanding of HCV entry and strategies appropriate for mimicking cell surface molecules may help in the development of new therapeutic modalities against HCV infection.

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