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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Expression of gastrointestinal glutathione peroxidase is inversely correlated to the presence of hepatitis C virus subgenomic RNA in human liver cells.

There is great medical need to develop novel therapies for treatment of human hepatitis C virus (HCV). By gene expression analysis of three HCV-subgenomic RNA replicon cell lines, we identified cellular proteins whose expression is affected by the presence of HCV and therefore may serve as drug targets. Data from cDNA array filter hybridization, as well as from Northern and Western blotting, revealed that the gastrointestinal-glutathione peroxidase ( GI-GPx) was drastically down-regulated (up to 20-fold) in all replicon cell lines tested. Concomitantly, total cellular glutathione peroxidase activity was drastically reduced, which rendered these human liver cells more susceptible toward oxidative stress. Interferon alpha caused down-regulation of the HCV-replicon followed by recovery of GI-GPx expression to nearly normal levels. Furthermore, expression of GI-GPx in replicon cells by gene transduction caused down-regulation of HCV RNA in a dose-dependent manner. Moreover, activating the endogenous gene coding for GI-GPx by all-trans-retinoic acid (RA) was sufficient to cause down-regulation of the HCV replicon. A small interfering RNA duplex abrogated GI-GPx up-regulation by RA and concomitantly suppression of HCV. The RA effect was dependent on the presence of sodium selenite, was reversible, and was independent of RNA-activated protein kinase. Taken together, these results show that HCV inhibits the expression of GI-GPx in replicon cells to promote its intracellular propagation. Modulation of GI-GPx activity may open new avenues of treatment for HCV patients.[1]


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