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J Virol. 2011 Mar;85(5):2342-50. doi: 10.1128/JVI.02046-10. Epub 2010 Dec 22.

Human Ago2 is required for efficient microRNA 122 regulation of hepatitis C virus RNA accumulation and translation.

Author information

1
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada. joyce.wilson@usask.ca

Abstract

MicroRNA 122 (miR-122) increases the accumulation and translation of hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA in infected cells through direct interactions with homologous sequences in the 5' untranslated region (UTR) of the HCV genome. Argonaute 2 (Ago2) is a component of the RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC) and mediates small interfering RNA (siRNA)-directed mRNA cleavage and microRNA translational suppression. We investigated the function of Ago2 in HCV replication to determine whether it plays a role in enhancing the synthesis and translation of HCV RNA that is associated with miR-122. siRNA-mediated depletion of Ago2 in human hepatoma cells reduced HCV RNA accumulation in transient HCV replication assays. The treatment did not adversely affect cell viability, as assessed by cell proliferation, capped translation, and interferon assays. These data are consistent with complementary roles for Ago2 and miR-122 in enhancing HCV RNA amplification. By using a transient HCV replication assay that is dependent on an exogenously provided mutant miR-122, we determined that Ago2 depletion still reduced luciferase expression and HCV RNA accumulation, independently of miR-122 biogenesis. miR-122 has previously been found to stimulate HCV translation. Similarly, Ago2 knockdown also reduced HCV translation, and its depletion reduced the ability of miR-122 to stimulate viral translation. These data suggest a direct role for Ago2 in miR-122-mediated translation. Finally, Ago2 was also necessary for efficient miR-122 enhancement of HCV RNA accumulation. These data support a model in which miR-122 functions within an Ago2-containing protein complex to augment both HCV RNA accumulation and translation.

PMID:
21177824
PMCID:
PMC3067765
DOI:
10.1128/JVI.02046-10
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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