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PLoS Pathog. 2009 Aug;5(8):e1000546. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1000546. Epub 2009 Aug 14.

Essential role of cyclophilin A for hepatitis C virus replication and virus production and possible link to polyprotein cleavage kinetics.

Author information

1
Department of Molecular Virology, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany.

Erratum in

  • PLoS Pathog. 2009 Sep;5(9). doi: 10.1371/annotation/29dffb2a-5d37-4196-b166-b0b15bc2f3fd. Lopez, Margarita Zayas [corrected to Zayas, Margarita].

Abstract

Viruses are obligate intracellular parasites and therefore their replication completely depends on host cell factors. In case of the hepatitis C virus (HCV), a positive-strand RNA virus that in the majority of infections establishes persistence, cyclophilins are considered to play an important role in RNA replication. Subsequent to the observation that cyclosporines, known to sequester cyclophilins by direct binding, profoundly block HCV replication in cultured human hepatoma cells, conflicting results were obtained as to the particular cyclophilin (Cyp) required for viral RNA replication and the underlying possible mode of action. By using a set of cell lines with stable knock-down of CypA or CypB, we demonstrate in the present work that replication of subgenomic HCV replicons of different genotypes is reduced by CypA depletion up to 1,000-fold whereas knock-down of CypB had no effect. Inhibition of replication was rescued by over-expression of wild type CypA, but not by a mutant lacking isomerase activity. Replication of JFH1-derived full length genomes was even more sensitive to CypA depletion as compared to subgenomic replicons and virus production was completely blocked. These results argue that CypA may target an additional viral factor outside of the minimal replicase contributing to RNA amplification and assembly, presumably nonstructural protein 2. By selecting for resistance against the cyclosporine analogue DEBIO-025 that targets CypA in a dose-dependent manner, we identified two mutations (V2440A and V2440L) close to the cleavage site between nonstructural protein 5A and the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase in nonstructural protein 5B that slow down cleavage kinetics at this site and reduce CypA dependence of viral replication. Further amino acid substitutions at the same cleavage site accelerating processing increase CypA dependence. Our results thus identify an unexpected correlation between HCV polyprotein processing and CypA dependence of HCV replication.

PMID:
19680534
PMCID:
PMC2718831
DOI:
10.1371/journal.ppat.1000546
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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