HCV replication suppresses cellular glucose uptake through down-regulation of cell surface expression of glucose transporters

Daisuke Kasai, Tetsuya Adachi, Lin Deng, Motoko Nagano-Fujii, Kiyonao Sada, Masanori Ikeda, Nobuyuki Kato, Yoshi Hiro Ide, Ikuo Shoji, Hak Hotta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Citations (Scopus)


Background/Aims: Persistent infection with hepatitis C virus (HCV) causes extrahepatic diseases, including diabetes. We investigated the possible effect(s) of HCV replication on cellular glucose uptake and expression of the facilitative glucose transporter (GLUT) 2 and 1. Methods: We used Huh-7.5 cells harboring either an HCV subgenomic RNA replicon (SGR) or an HCV full-genomic RNA replicon (FGR), HCV-infected cells, and the respective cells treated with interferon (IFN). We also used liver tissue samples obtained from patients with or without HCV infection. Results: Glucose uptake and surface expression of GLUT2 and GLUT1 were suppressed in SGR, FGR and HCV-infected cells compared to the control cells. Expression levels of GLUT2 mRNA, but not GLUT1 mRNA, were lower in SGR, FGR and HCV-infected cells than in the control. Luciferase reporter assay demonstrated decreased GLUT2 promoter activities in SGR, FGR and HCV-infected cells. IFN treatment restored glucose uptake, GLUT2 surface expression, GLUT2 mRNA expression and GLUT2 promoter activities. Also, GLUT2 expression was reduced in hepatocytes of liver tissues obtained from HCV-infected patients. Conclusions: HCV replication down-regulates cell surface expression of GLUT2 partly at the transcriptional level, and possibly at the intracellular trafficking level as suggested for GLUT1, thereby lowering glucose uptake by hepatocytes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)883-894
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Hepatology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2009


  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Down-regulation
  • GLUT1
  • GLUT2
  • Glucose uptake
  • Hepatitis C virus
  • Hepatocyte
  • Interferon
  • Replicon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology


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