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2010 | 57 | 4 | 541-546
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Effect of tunicamycin on the biogenesis of hepatitis C virus glycoproteins

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Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infects humans, with a prevalence around 3% of population, causing acute and chronic hepatitis and hepatocellular carcinoma. We studied the effect of inhibition of glycosylation on the assembly of the HCV particle. HCV possesses two envelope glycoproteins E1 and E2 that are highly modified by N-glycans. These glycan residues are crucial for viral entry and maturation of the progeny. Here, we examined the influence of inhibition of N-glycosylation on expression of E1 and E2. Since the propagation of HCV in cell culture is limited, we used a recombinant baculovirus producing viral-like particles in insect cells. Our data showed that blocking of N-glycan transfer to the nascent polypeptide chain with the antibiotic tunicamycin resulted in the loss of E1 and E2. We also found that a dose of tunicamycin that did not influence the cell viability significantly reduced the E2 level in infected cells. The results indicate that blocking of glycosylation at an early step efficiently reduces the assembly of HCV virions. Thus, we suggest that derivatives of tunicamycin that preferentially block glycosylation of viral proteins may become potential therapeutic agents against HCV.
Physical description
  • Department of Molecular Virology, Intercollegiate Faculty of Biotechnology, University of Gdańsk and Medical University of Gdańsk, Gdańsk, Poland
  • Department of Molecular Virology, Intercollegiate Faculty of Biotechnology, University of Gdańsk and Medical University of Gdańsk, Gdańsk, Poland
  • MRC - University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, United Kingdom
  • Department of Molecular Virology, Intercollegiate Faculty of Biotechnology, University of Gdańsk and Medical University of Gdańsk, Gdańsk, Poland
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