The DEAD box helicase DDX3 assembles IPS-1 (also called Cardif, MAVS, or VISA) in non-infected human cells where minimal amounts of the RIG-I-like receptor (RLR) protein are expressed. DDX3 C-terminal regions directly bind the IPS-1 CARD-like domain as well as the N-terminal hepatitis C virus (HCV) core protein. DDX3 physically binds viral RNA to form IPS-1- containing spots, that are visible by confocal microscopy. HCV polyU/UC induced IPS-1-mediated interferon (IFN)-beta promoter activation, which was augmented by co-transfected DDX3. DDX3 spots localized near the lipid droplets (LDs) where HCV particles were generated. Here, we report that HCV core protein interferes with DDX3-enhanced IPS-1 signaling in HEK293 cells and in hepatocyte Oc cells. Unlike the DEAD box helicases RIG-I and MDA5, DDX3 was constitutively expressed and colocalized with IPS-1 around mitochondria. In hepatocytes (O cells) with the HCV replicon, however, DDX3/ IPS-1-enhanced IFN-beta-induction was largely abrogated even when DDX3 was co-expressed. DDX3 spots barely merged with IPS-1, and partly assembled in the HCV core protein located near the LD in O cells, though in some O cells IPS-1 was diminished or disseminated apart from mitochondria. Expression of DDX3 in replicon-negative or core-less replicon-positive cells failed to cause complex formation or LD association. HCV core protein and DDX3 partially colocalized only in repliconexpressing cells. Since the HCV core protein has been reported to promote HCV replication through binding to DDX3, the core protein appears to switch DDX3 from an IFN-inducing mode to an HCV-replication mode. The results enable us to conclude that HCV infection is promoted by modulating the dual function of DDX3.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
- General Agricultural and Biological Sciences