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Zhonghua Gan Zang Bing Za Zhi. 2013 Jan;21(1):33-7. doi: 10.3760/cma.j.issn.1007-3418.2013.01.010.

[Antiviral activities of ISG20 against hepatitis C virus].

[Article in Chinese]

Author information

  • 1Department of Infectious Diseases, the Second Affiliated Hospital, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing 400010, China.



To investigate the impact of interferon-stimulated exonuclease 20 kDa (ISG20) on replication of genotype 2a hepatitis C virus (HCV) subgenomic replicon RNA and infectivity of the cell culture-derived HCV strain JFH1 to determine the potential of exogenously expressed ISG20 as an anti-viral therapy of chronic hepatitis C.


Plasma vectors containing wild-type (WT) ISG20 or a catalytically-inactive mutant ISG20m were transiently transfected into Huh7, Huh7.5 and HEK293 cells, and the replication of a monocistronic subgenomic JFH1 RNA replicon, SGRm-JFH1BlaRL, was measured. Huh7.5 cells stably expressing ISG20, ISG20m, or the control vector were established by transducing replication incompetent pCX4-Bsr-myc retroviruses encoding WT ISG20, D94G mutant ISG20, or the empty vector, respectively, and selecting with 5 mug/mL of blasticidin for approximately three weeks. The stable Huh7.5 cells were then transfected with HCV replicon RNA and infected with cell culture-derived HCV to investigate inhibition capacity of ISG20 against HCV.


Huh7.5-ISG20, Huh7.5-ISG20m, and Huh7.5-Bsr controls cells stably expressing ISG20, ISG20m, or the control vector, respectively, were constructed successfully; the ectopically expressed ISG20 and ISG20m were distributed in both nucleus and cytoplasm, as detected by immuno uorescence. SGRm-JFH1BlaRL replicated efficiently and with similar kinetics in the Huh7.5-Bsr and Huh7.5-ISG20m cells, with expression levels plateauing at 48-96 h post-transfection. In contrast, at all time points examined, SGRm-JFH1BlaRL replication was 9.1% to 16.7% in the Huh7.5-ISG20 cells. The Huh7, Huh7.5 and HEK293 cells transiently expressing ISG20 also showed 16.7% to 25.0% of HCV replication that the respective controls. In addition, the amount of infectious progeny JFH1 virus released in culture supernatants was 9.1% to 12.5% from the Huh7.5-ISG20 cells than from the Huh7.5-Bsr and Huh7.5-ISG20m cells at 48-72 h post-infection, and the latter two cultures produced similar JFH1 virus yields. Finally, the expression of HCV core protein was also lower in the Huh7.5-ISG20 cells, as detected by immunoblot analysis.


Exogenous expression of ISG20, either in a transient or stable manner, suppresses not only replication of genotype 2a HCV RNA replicons but also JFH1 virus propagation in cultured hepatocytes. The exonuclease activity of ISG20 is required for its antiviral activities against HCV.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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