Role of lipid metabolism in hepatitis C virus assembly and entry

Authors

  • Costin-Ioan Popescu,

    1. Université Lille Nord de France, F-59000 Lille, France
    2. CNRS, Institut de Biologie de Lille (UMR8161), F-59021 Lille, France
    3. Institut Pasteur de Lille, F-59019 Lille, France
    4. Institute of Biochemistry, Bucharest, Romania
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  • Jean Dubuisson

    Corresponding author
    1. Université Lille Nord de France, F-59000 Lille, France
    2. CNRS, Institut de Biologie de Lille (UMR8161), F-59021 Lille, France
    3. Institut Pasteur de Lille, F-59019 Lille, France
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(email jean.dubuisson@ibl.fr).

Abstract

HCV (hepatitis C virus) represents a major global health problem. A consistent body of evidence has been accumulating, suggesting a peculiar overlap between the HCV life cycle and lipid metabolism. This association becomes evident both for the clinical symptoms of HCV infection and the molecular mechanisms underlying the morphogenesis and entry process of this virus. The HCV core–lipid droplets association seems to be central to the HCV morphogenesis process. Moreover, the biogenesis pathway of very-low-density lipoproteins has been shown to be involved in HCV morphogenesis with MTP (microsomal triacylglycerol transfer protein), ApoB (apolipoprotein B) and ApoE (apolipoprotein E) as essential elements in the production of infectious HCV particles. HCV infectivity also correlates with the lipidation status of the particles. Furthermore, some HCV cellular receptors and the regulation of the entry process are also connected to lipoproteins and lipid metabolism. Specifically, lipoproteins modulate the entry process and the cholesterol transporter SR-BI (scavenger receptor class B type I) is a cellular entry factor for HCV. The present review aims to summarize the advances in our understanding of the HCV–lipid metabolism association, which may open new therapeutic avenues.

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