Characterization of the Envelope Glycoproteins Associated with Infectious Hepatitis C Virus

Vieyres, G., Thomas, X., Descamps, V., Duverlie, G., Patel, A. H. and Dubuisson, J. (2010) Characterization of the Envelope Glycoproteins Associated with Infectious Hepatitis C Virus. Journal of Virology, 84(19), pp. 10159-10168. (doi:10.1128/JVI.01180-10) (PMID:20668082) (PMCID:PMC3063174)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.01180-10

Abstract

Hepatitis C is caused by an enveloped virus whose entry is mediated by two glycoproteins, namely, E1 and E2, which have been shown to assemble as a noncovalent heterodimer. Despite extensive research in the field of such an important human pathogen, hepatitis C virus (HCV) glycoproteins have only been studied so far in heterologous expression systems, and their organization at the surfaces of infectious virions has not yet been described. Here, we characterized the envelope glycoproteins associated with cell-cultured infectious virions and compared them with their prebudding counterparts. Viral particles were analyzed by ultracentrifugation, and the envelope glycoproteins were characterized by coimmunoprecipitation and receptor pulldown assays. Furthermore, their oligomeric state was determined by sedimentation through sucrose gradients and by separation by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) under nonreducing conditions. In sucrose gradient analyses, HCV envelope glycoproteins were associated with fractions containing the most infectious viral particles. Importantly, besides maturation of some of their glycans, HCV envelope glycoproteins showed a dramatic change in their oligomeric state after incorporation into the viral particle. Indeed, virion-associated E1 and E2 envelope glycoproteins formed large covalent complexes stabilized by disulfide bridges, whereas the intracellular forms of these proteins assembled as noncovalent heterodimers. Furthermore, the virion-associated glycoprotein complexes were recognized by the large extracellular loop of CD81 as well as conformation-sensitive antibodies, indicating that these proteins are in a functional conformation. Overall, our study fills a gap in the description of HCV outer morphology and should guide further investigations into virus entry and assembly.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Patel, Professor Arvind
Authors: Vieyres, G., Thomas, X., Descamps, V., Duverlie, G., Patel, A. H., and Dubuisson, J.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences
Journal Name:Journal of Virology
Journal Abbr.:J. Virol.
Publisher:American Society for Microbiology
ISSN:0022-538X
ISSN (Online):1070-6321

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