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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2006 Feb 3;340(1):200-8. Epub 2005 Dec 9.

Characterization of HCV-like particles produced in a human hepatoma cell line by a recombinant baculovirus.

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Department of Molecular Virology, Research Institute for Microbial Diseases, Osaka University, Osaka, Japan.


Although processing of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) polyprotein and characterization of each of its viral proteins have been described in detail, analysis of the structure and assembly of HCV particles has been hampered by the lack of a robust cell culture system to support efficient replication of HCV. In this study, we generated HCV-like particles (HCV-LP) using a recombinant baculovirus encoding structural and a part of non-structural proteins in a human hepatoma cell line. The HCV-LP exhibited a buoyant density of 1.17 g/ml in CsCl equilibrium gradient and particles of 40 to 50 nm in diameter. Binding of the HCV-LP to human hepatoma cells was partially inhibited by the treatment with anti-hCD81 antibody, in contrast to the hCD81-independent binding of HCV-LP produced in insect cells. These results indicate that HCV-LP generated in different types of cells exhibit different cellular tropism for binding to target cells.

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