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Med Microbiol Immunol. 2002 May;191(1):17-24.

Virolytic action of lipoprotein lipase on hepatitis C virus in human sera.

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Department of Virology, University of Göttingen, Germany.


In most sera of hepatitis C virus (HCV)-infected patients beta-lipoproteins are bound to HCV RNA-carrying material, most often simultaneously with immunoglobulins (IgG, IgM) and sometimes additionally with high-density lipoproteins, forming complexes of low density (1.04-1.06 g/ml). To separate HCV particles from bound material, we tried to destroy the lipoprotein enzymatically by incubating HCV-positive human sera with lipoprotein lipase derived from Pseudomonas spp. (LPL-Ps). After this treatment, titers of HCV RNA in human sera (determined by a simple semiquantitative reverse transcription-PCR assay) were strongly reduced, regardless of whether primers of the NTR or NS5 region were used. Inactivation of HCV RNA could be inhibited by the addition of RNAguard to the serum-enzyme mixture. The lytic effect of the LPL-Ps preparation could be inhibited by tetrahydrolipstatin. Hence LPL-Ps seems to disrupt the HCV particle structure, including the putative core of the virus, and makes HCV RNA sensitive for RNase present in the reaction mixture. HBV was not destroyed by LPL-Ps. Porcine pancreatic lipase had no effect on HCV. The implications of these observations for the structure and biology of HCV and for its stability and inactivation in human sera are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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