Caister Academic Press

CIMB Abstract

Curr. Issues Mol. Biol. (2007) 9: 71-86.

Assembly of a Functional HCV Glycoprotein Heterodimer

Muriel Lavie, Anne Goffard and Jean Dubuisson

The two HCV envelope glycoproteins E1 and E2 are released from HCV polyprotein by signal peptidase cleavages. These glycoproteins are type I transmembrane proteins with a highly glycosylated N-terminal ectodomain and a C-terminal hydrophobic anchor. After their synthesis, HCV glycoproteins E1 and E2 associate as a noncovalent heterodimer. The transmembrane domains of HCV envelope glycoproteins play a major role in E1E2 heterodimer assembly and subcellular localization. The envelope glycoprotein complex E1E2 has been proposed to be essential for HCV entry. However, for a long time, HCV entry studies have remained limited because of the lack of a robust cell culture system to amplify this virus. A few years ago, a model mimicking the entry process of HCV lifecycle has been developed by pseudotyping retroviral particles with native HCV envelope glycoproteins. This model allowed the characterization of functional E1E2 envelope glycoproteins. The data obtained can now be confirmed with the help of a newly developed cellculture system that allows efficient amplification of HCV (HCVcc). Here, we present the recent data that have been accumulated on the assembly of the functional HCV glycoprotein heterodimer.

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