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      Interferon-alpha stimulation of liver cells enhances hepatitis delta virus RNA editing in early infection.

      Journal of Hepatology

      Adenosine Deaminase, biosynthesis, genetics, Antiviral Agents, pharmacology, Cell Line, Tumor, DNA, Viral, Hepatitis D, virology, Hepatitis Delta Virus, Humans, Interferon-alpha, Isoenzymes, Liver, drug effects, enzymology, RNA Editing, RNA, Messenger, metabolism, RNA-Binding Proteins, Time Factors, Transfection

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          RNA editing controls the formation of hepatitis-delta-antigen-S and -L and therefore plays a central role in the hepatitis-delta-virus (HDV) life-cycle. Editing is catalyzed by the enzyme Adenosine-deaminase-acting-on-RNA1 (ADAR1) of which two different forms, ADAR1-L and ADAR1-S, exist. As ADAR1-L is induced by interferon (IFN)-alpha, we examined the influence of IFN-alpha-stimulation of host cells on HDV-RNA editing. Editing was studied in Huh-7-cells transfected with HDV-RNA on days 7, 14, 21 and 28 after transfection. ADAR1-L mRNA was measured by RT-PCR. IFN-alpha-treatment led to a 5-fold higher expression of ADAR1-L and to an increase in editing from 14+/-2% (SD) in unstimulated controls to 27+/-4% (SD) on day 7 after transfection. Editing further increases over time to the same maximum level of 35% in IFN-alpha-treated as well as untreated cells. By IFN-alpha-stimulation both ADAR1-L expression and editing are increased in Huh-7-cells at day 7, and the maximum level of edited antigenomes is reached earlier with IFN-alpha-treatment as compared to untreated cells. Thus, ADAR1-L appears to be able to increase editing, but the HDV genome apparently has an intrinsic negative feed-back regulation mechanism that limits editing to roughly a third of the genomes.

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