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Virus Res. 1995 Aug;37(3):209-20.

Transcriptional regulation of cellular and viral promoters by the hepatitis C virus core protein.

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Division of Infectious Disease and Immunology, Saint Louis University Health Sciences Center, MO 63110-0250, USA.


The genomic region encoding the hepatitis C virus (HCV) core protein was cloned into a mammalian expression vector to study its role on the transcriptional regulation of cellular proto-oncogene and viral promoters. Using a transient transfection assay in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HepG2) cells, we demonstrate that the HCV core protein activates the human c-myc, Rous sarcoma virus long terminal repeat (LTR), and simian virus 40 (SV40) early promoters; and suppresses the c-fos promoter and human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) LTR activity. The transcriptional regulation of cellular proto-oncogenes by the HCV core protein suggests possible involvement of the core protein in the deregulation of normal hepatocyte growth and hepatocarcinogenesis.

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