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Hepatitis C virus internal ribosome entry site-mediated translation is stimulated by cis-acting RNA elements and trans-acting viral factors



Hepatitis C virus internal ribosome entry site-mediated translation is stimulated by cis-acting RNA elements and trans-acting viral factors



Febs Journal 275(16): 4179-4197



Translation initiation of hepatitis C virus (HCV) occurs through an internal ribosome entry site (IRES) located at its 5'-end. As a positive-stranded RNA virus, HCV uses its genome as a common template for translation and replication, but the coordination between these two processes remains poorly characterized. Moreover, although genetic evidence of RNA-protein interactions for viral replication is accumulating because of subgenomic replicons and a recent culture system for HCV, such interactions are still contentious in the regulation of translation. To gain insight into such mechanisms, we addressed the involvement of cis and trans viral factors in HCV IRES activity by using a cell-based RNA reporter system. We found that the HCV 3' noncoding region (NCR) strongly stimulates IRES efficiency in cis, depending on the genotype and the cell line. Moreover, we confirmed the role of the core protein in viral gene expression as previously reported in vitro. Surprisingly, we observed a similar effect, i.e. a twofold increase under low amounts of NS5B RNA polymerase, followed by a decrease at higher concentrations. However, no contribution of NS5A to HCV IRES-mediated translation was noted and no cooperative effect could be detected between 3' NCR and viral proteins or between proteins. Collectively, these results suggest that HCV RNA translation is regulated, and that the switch from translation to replication might involve a sequential requirement for both cis and trans viral factors, because of their apparent lack of synergy, probably with the aid of host factors.

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Accession: 053517953

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 18637118

DOI: 10.1111/j.1742-4658.2008.06566.x


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