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J Virol. 2016 Oct 14;90(21):9632-9643. doi: 10.1128/JVI.01353-16. Print 2016 Nov 1.

Neglected but Important Role of Apolipoprotein E Exchange in Hepatitis C Virus Infection.

Author information

1
Key Laboratory of Molecular Virology and Immunology, Institut Pasteur of Shanghai, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China College of Life Sciences, Shanghai University, Shanghai, China.
2
Key Laboratory of Molecular Virology and Immunology, Institut Pasteur of Shanghai, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China.
3
Department of Hepatology, First Hospital, Jilin University, Changchun, China.
4
Key Laboratory of Molecular Virology and Immunology, Institut Pasteur of Shanghai, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China glong@ips.ac.cn.

Abstract

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a major cause of chronic liver disease, infecting approximately 170 million people worldwide. HCV assembly is tightly associated with the lipoprotein pathway. Exchangeable apolipoprotein E (apoE) is incorporated on infectious HCV virions and is important for infectious HCV virion morphogenesis and entry. Moreover, the virion apoE level is positively correlated with its ability to escape E2 antibody neutralization. However, the role of apoE exchange in the HCV life cycle is unclear. In this study, the relationship between apoE expression and cell permissiveness to HCV infection was assessed by infecting apoE knockdown and derived apoE rescue cell lines with HCV. Exchange of apoE between lipoproteins and HCV lipoviral particles (LVPs) was evaluated by immunoprecipitation, infectivity testing, and viral genome quantification. Cell and heparin column binding assays were applied to determine the attachment efficiency of LVPs with different levels of incorporated apoE. The results showed that cell permissiveness for HCV infection was determined by exogenous apoE-associated lipoproteins. Furthermore, apoE exchange did occur between HCV LVPs and lipoproteins, which was important to maintain a high apoE level on LVPs. Lipid-free apoE was capable of enhancing HCV infectivity for apoE knockdown cells but not apoE rescue cells. A higher apoE level on LVPs conferred more efficient LVP attachment to both the cell surface and heparin beads. This study revealed that exogenous apoE-incorporating lipoproteins from uninfected hepatocytes safeguarded the apoE level of LVPs for more efficient attachment during HCV infection.

IMPORTANCE:

In this study, a neglected but important role of apoE exchange in HCV LVP infectivity after virus assembly and release was identified. The data indicated that apoE expression level in uninfected cells is important for high permissiveness to HCV infection. Secreted apoE-associated lipoprotein specifically enhances infection of HCV LVPs. apoE exchange between HCV LVP and lipoproteins is important to maintain an adequate apoE level on LVPs for their efficient attachment to cell surface. These data defined for the first time an extracellular role of exchangeable apoE in HCV infection and suggested that exchangeable apolipoproteins reach a natural equilibrium between HCV LVPs and lipoprotein particles, which provides a new perspective to the understanding of the heterogeneity of HCV LVPs in composition.

PMID:
27535051
PMCID:
PMC5068516
DOI:
10.1128/JVI.01353-16
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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