Hepatitis C virus proteins exhibit conflicting effects on the interferon system in human hepatocyte cells

Hiromichi Dansako, Kazuhito Naka, Masanori Ikeda, Nobuyuki Kato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


We previously found that hepatitis C virus (HCV) core protein (Core) activated the interferon (IFN)-inducible 40/46 kDa 2′-5′- oligoadenylate synthetase (2′-5′-OAS) gene through an IFN-stimulated response element (ISRE) in non-neoplastic human hepatocyte PH5CH8 cells. Here, we found that Core and NS5B synergistically enhanced the 2′-5′-OAS gene promoter activity through ISRE. Further analysis revealed that amino acid positions 12 and/or 13 of Core and RNA-dependent RNA polymerase activity of NS5B were essential for the activation of the 2′-5′-OAS gene promoter. Interestingly, we observed that the activation by Core or NS5B was still partially enhanced by even the NS5B or Core mutant lacking the activating ability, respectively, suggesting an indirect interaction between Core and NS5B. Furthermore, we showed that the activation by NS5B could be explained by NS5B's induction of IFN-β, however, IFN-β was not induced by Core. Moreover, we showed that the synergistic effect of Core and NS5B was not invalidated by NS3-4A, although NS3-4A significantly inhibited the activation by combination of Core and NS5B. Taken together, our findings reveal that NS5B/Core and NS3-4A exhibit conflicting effects (activation and inhibition) on the IFN system in PH5CH8 cells, and suggest that such effects may promote the distraction of the host defense system to lead to persistent infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)458-468
Number of pages11
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Oct 21 2005


  • 2′-5′- Oligoadenylate synthetase
  • Core
  • Hepatitis C virus
  • Interferon system
  • Interferon-β
  • NS3-4A
  • NS5B

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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