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      The lipid droplet is an important organelle for hepatitis C virus production.

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          Abstract

          The lipid droplet (LD) is an organelle that is used for the storage of neutral lipids. It dynamically moves through the cytoplasm, interacting with other organelles, including the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). These interactions are thought to facilitate the transport of lipids and proteins to other organelles. The hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a causative agent of chronic liver diseases. HCV capsid protein (Core) associates with the LD, envelope proteins E1 and E2 reside in the ER lumen, and the viral replicase is assumed to localize on ER-derived membranes. How and where HCV particles are assembled, however, is poorly understood. Here, we show that the LD is involved in the production of infectious virus particles. We demonstrate that Core recruits nonstructural (NS) proteins and replication complexes to LD-associated membranes, and that this recruitment is critical for producing infectious viruses. Furthermore, virus particles were observed in close proximity to LDs, indicating that some steps of virus assembly take place around LDs. This study reveals a novel function of LDs in the assembly of infectious HCV and provides a new perspective on how viruses usurp cellular functions.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Nat Cell Biol
          Nature cell biology
          Springer Science and Business Media LLC
          1465-7392
          1465-7392
          Sep 2007
          : 9
          : 9
          Affiliations
          [1 ] Department of Viral Oncology, Institute for Virus Research, Kyoto University, Kyoto 606-8507, Japan.
          Article
          ncb1631
          10.1038/ncb1631
          17721513
          86b14c11-d6a0-4b9d-b471-d245ce5f5a1b

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