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N-Myc Downstream-Regulated Gene 1 Restricts Hepatitis C Virus Propagation by Regulating Lipid Droplet Biogenesis and Viral Assembly.

Schweitzer, Cameron J; Zhang, Fang; Boyer, Audrey; Valdez, Kristin; Cam, Maggie; Liang, T Jake.
J Virol; 92(2)2018 01 15.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29118118
Host cells harbor various intrinsic mechanisms to restrict viral infections as a first line of antiviral defense. Viruses have evolved various countermeasures against these antiviral mechanisms. Here we show that N-Myc downstream-regulated gene 1 (NDRG1) limits productive hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection by inhibiting viral assembly. Interestingly, HCV infection downregulates NDRG1 protein and mRNA expression. The loss of NDRG1 increases the size and number of lipid droplets, which are the sites of HCV assembly. HCV suppresses NDRG1 expression by upregulating MYC, which directly inhibits the transcription of NDRG1 The upregulation of MYC also leads to the reduced expression of the NDRG1-specific kinase serum/glucocorticoid-regulated kinase 1 (SGK1), resulting in a markedly diminished phosphorylation of NDRG1. The knockdown of MYC during HCV infection rescues NDRG1 expression and phosphorylation, suggesting that MYC regulates NDRG1 at both the transcriptional and posttranslational levels. Overall, our results suggest that NDRG1 restricts HCV assembly by limiting lipid droplet formation. HCV counteracts this intrinsic antiviral mechanism by downregulating NDRG1 via a MYC-dependent mechanism.IMPORTANCE Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is an enveloped single-stranded RNA virus that targets hepatocytes in the liver. HCV is a leading cause of chronic hepatitis, liver cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma, and estimates suggest a global prevalence of 2.35%. Up to 80% of acutely infected individuals will develop chronic infection, and as many as 5% eventually progress to liver cancer. An understanding of the mechanisms behind virus-host interactions and viral carcinogenesis is still lacking. The significance of our research is that it identifies a previously unknown relationship between HCV and a known tumor-associated gene. Furthermore, our data point to a new role for this gene in the liver and in lipid metabolism. Thus, HCV infection serves as a great biological model to advance our knowledge of liver functions and the development of liver cancer.
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