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

The low-density lipoprotein receptor plays a role in the infection of primary human hepatocytes by hepatitis C virus.

BACKGROUND/AIMS: The direct implication of low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR) in hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection of human hepatocyte has not been demonstrated. Normal primary human hepatocytes infected by serum HCV were used to document this point. METHODS: Expression and activity of LDLR were assessed by RT-PCR and LDL entry, in the absence or presence of squalestatin or 25-hydroxycholesterol that up- or down-regulates LDLR expression, respectively. Infection was performed in the absence or presence of LDL, HDL, recombinant soluble LDLR peptides encompassing full-length (r-shLDLR4-292) or truncated (r-shLDLR4-166) LDL-binding domain, monoclonal antibodies against r-shLDLR4-292, squalestatin or 25-hydroxycholesterol. Intracellular amounts of replicative and genomic HCV RNA strands used as end point of infection were assessed by RT-PCR. RESULTS: r-shLDLR4-292, antibodies against r-shLDLR4-292 and LDL inhibited viral RNA accumulation, irrespective of genotype, viral load or liver donor. Inhibition was greatest when r-shLDLR4-292 was present at the time of inoculation and gradually decreased as the delay between inoculation and r-shLDLR4-292 treatment increased. In hepatocytes pre-treated with squalestatin or 25-hydroxycholesterol before infection, viral RNA accumulation increased or decreased in parallel with LDLR mRNA expression and LDL entry. CONCLUSIONS: LDLR is involved at an early stage in infection of normal human hepatocytes by serum-derived HCV virions.[1]


  1. The low-density lipoprotein receptor plays a role in the infection of primary human hepatocytes by hepatitis C virus. Molina, S., Castet, V., Fournier-Wirth, C., Pichard-Garcia, L., Avner, R., Harats, D., Roitelman, J., Barbaras, R., Graber, P., Ghersa, P., Smolarsky, M., Funaro, A., Malavasi, F., Larrey, D., Coste, J., Fabre, J.M., Sa-Cunha, A., Maurel, P. J. Hepatol. (2007) [Pubmed]
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