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  • Augmentation of DHCR24 expression by hepatitis C virus infection facilitates viral replication in hepatocytes.

Augmentation of DHCR24 expression by hepatitis C virus infection facilitates viral replication in hepatocytes.

Journal of hepatology (2010-12-28)
Takashi Takano, Kyoko Tsukiyama-Kohara, Masahiro Hayashi, Yuichi Hirata, Masaaki Satoh, Yuko Tokunaga, Chise Tateno, Yukiko Hayashi, Tsunekazu Hishima, Nobuaki Funata, Masayuki Sudoh, Michinori Kohara
ABSTRACT

We characterized the role of 24-dehydrocholesterol reductase (DHCR24) in hepatitis C virus infection (HCV). DHCR24 is a cholesterol biosynthetic enzyme and cholesterol is a major component of lipid rafts, which is reported to play an important role in HCV replication. Therefore, we examined the potential of DHCR24 as a target for novel HCV therapeutic agents. We examined DHCR24 expression in human hepatocytes in both the livers of HCV-infected patients and those of chimeric mice with human hepatocytes. We targeted DHCR24 with siRNA and U18666A which is an inhibitor of both DHCR24 and cholesterol synthesis. We measured the level of HCV replication in these HCV replicon cell lines and HCV infected cells. U18666A was administrated into chimeric mice with humanized liver, and anti-viral effects were assessed. Expression of DHCR24 was induced by HCV infection in human hepatocytes in vitro, and in human hepatocytes of chimeric mouse liver. Silencing of DHCR24 by siRNA decreased HCV replication in replicon cell lines and HCV JFH-1 strain-infected cells. Treatment with U18666A suppressed HCV replication in the replicon cell lines. Moreover, to evaluate the anti-viral effect of U18666A in vivo, we administrated U18666A with or without pegylated interferon to chimeric mice and observed an inhibitory effect of U18666A on HCV infection and a synergistic effect with interferon. DHCR24 is an essential host factor which augmented its expression by HCV infection, and plays a significant role in HCV replication. DHCR24 may serve as a novel anti-HCV drug target.

MATERIALS
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Brand
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Sigma-Aldrich
U 18666A, powder