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      Infectious Hepatitis C Virus Pseudo-particles Containing Functional E1–E2 Envelope Protein Complexes


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          The study of hepatitis C virus (HCV), a major cause of chronic liver disease, has been hampered by the lack of a cell culture system supporting its replication. Here, we have successfully generated infectious pseudo-particles that were assembled by displaying unmodified and functional HCV glycoproteins onto retroviral and lentiviral core particles. The presence of a green fluorescent protein marker gene packaged within these HCV pseudo-particles allowed reliable and fast determination of infectivity mediated by the HCV glycoproteins. Primary hepatocytes as well as hepato-carcinoma cells were found to be the major targets of infection in vitro . High infectivity of the pseudo-particles required both E1 and E2 HCV glycoproteins, and was neutralized by sera from HCV-infected patients and by some anti-E2 monoclonal antibodies. In addition, these pseudo-particles allowed investigation of the role of putative HCV receptors. Although our results tend to confirm their involvement, they provide evidence that neither LDLr nor CD81 is sufficient to mediate HCV cell entry. Altogether, these studies indicate that these pseudo-particles may mimic the early infection steps of parental HCV and will be suitable for the development of much needed new antiviral therapies.

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          In vivo gene delivery and stable transduction of nondividing cells by a lentiviral vector.

          A retroviral vector system based on the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) was developed that, in contrast to a murine leukemia virus-based counterpart, transduced heterologous sequences into HeLa cells and rat fibroblasts blocked in the cell cycle, as well as into human primary macrophages. Additionally, the HIV vector could mediate stable in vivo gene transfer into terminally differentiated neurons. The ability of HIV-based viral vectors to deliver genes in vivo into nondividing cells could increase the applicability of retroviral vectors in human gene therapy.
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            Binding of hepatitis C virus to CD81.

            Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection occurs in about 3 percent of the world's population and is a major cause of liver disease. HCV infection is also associated with cryoglobulinemia, a B lymphocyte proliferative disorder. Virus tropism is controversial, and the mechanisms of cell entry remain unknown. The HCV envelope protein E2 binds human CD81, a tetraspanin expressed on various cell types including hepatocytes and B lymphocytes. Binding of E2 was mapped to the major extracellular loop of CD81. Recombinant molecules containing this loop bound HCV and antibodies that neutralize HCV infection in vivo inhibited virus binding to CD81 in vitro.
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              The human scavenger receptor class B type I is a novel candidate receptor for the hepatitis C virus.

              We discovered that the hepatitis C virus (HCV) envelope glycoprotein E2 binds to human hepatoma cell lines independently of the previously proposed HCV receptor CD81. Comparative binding studies using recombinant E2 from the most prevalent 1a and 1b genotypes revealed that E2 recognition by hepatoma cells is independent from the viral isolate, while E2-CD81 interaction is isolate specific. Binding of soluble E2 to human hepatoma cells was impaired by deletion of the hypervariable region 1 (HVR1), but the wild-type phenotype was recovered by introducing a compensatory mutation reported previously to rescue infectivity of an HVR1-deleted HCV infectious clone. We have identified the receptor responsible for E2 binding to human hepatic cells as the human scavenger receptor class B type I (SR-BI). E2-SR-BI interaction is very selective since neither mouse SR-BI nor the closely related human scavenger receptor CD36, were able to bind E2. Finally, E2 recognition by SR-BI was competed out in an isolate-specific manner both on the hepatoma cell line and on the human SR-BI-transfected cell line by an anti-HVR1 monoclonal antibody.

                Author and article information

                J Exp Med
                The Journal of Experimental Medicine
                The Rockefeller University Press
                3 March 2003
                : 197
                : 5
                : 633-642
                [1 ]Laboratoire de Vectorologie Rétrovirale et Thérapie Génique, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale U412, IFR 128, Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, 69364 Lyon Cedex 07, France
                [2 ]Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique-UPR2511, Institut de Biologie de Lille, Institut Pasteur de Lille, 59021 Lille Cedex, France
                Author notes

                Address correspondence to François-Loïc Cosset, LVRTG, ENS de Lyon, 46 Allée d'Italie, 69364 Lyon Cedex 07, France. Phone: 33-472-72-87-32; Fax: 33-472-72-80-80; E-mail: flcosset@ 123456ens-lyon.fr

                Copyright © 2003, The Rockefeller University Press
                : 3 October 2002
                : 3 January 2003
                : 15 January 2003

                neutralization,glycoproteins,viral assembly,hepatitis,receptor
                neutralization, glycoproteins, viral assembly, hepatitis, receptor


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