Serum-free cell culture system supplemented with lipid-rich albumin for hepatitis C virus (strain O of genotype 1b) replication

Ken ichi Abe, Masanori Ikeda, Yasuo Ariumi, Hiromichi Dansako, Nobuyuki Kato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


HuH-7 is a highly differentiated hepatoma cell line and the only cell line that supports robust RNA replication of the hepatitis C virus (HCV). HuH-7 cells cause cell death in serum-free culture condition. However, the effect is reversed by supplementation with selenium. Serum-free cell cultures are advantageous for vaccine development and experimental reproducibility. However, HCV RNA replication in HuH-7 cells in serum-free medium had not yet been achieved. Therefore, we tried to develop a system for robust HCV RNA replication in a serum-free cell culture. Although HuH-7 cells grew in serum-free medium in the presence of selenium, HuH-7 cells under these conditions did not support HCV RNA replication in long-term culture. Among the supplements tested, serum-free medium with lipid-rich albumin (LRA) was found to yield robust HCV RNA replication. HCV proteins were detected for more than 9 months in serum-free medium supplemented with LRA. This is the first report to demonstrate a long-term, serum-free cell culture that successfully maintained robust HCV RNA replication. This cell culture system is expected to be a useful tool for vaccine development, as well as for further investigation of cellular factors that are essential for HCV RNA replication.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)162-168
Number of pages7
JournalVirus research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2007


  • HCV
  • Lipid-rich albumin
  • Selenium
  • Serum-free cell culture
  • Vaccine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases


Dive into the research topics of 'Serum-free cell culture system supplemented with lipid-rich albumin for hepatitis C virus (strain O of genotype 1b) replication'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this