The role of apoptosis in the persistence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is controversial. Moreover, conflicting data on the modulation of this process by HCV proteins have been provided. We evaluated the susceptibility of peripheral lymphocytes from patients with chronic hepatitis C to apoptosis both spontaneous and after incubation with a chimeric Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) carrying 180 copies of the synthetic R9 mimotope obtained from more than 200 hypervariable region-1 sequences of HCV. Resting T lymphocytes were found to be sensitized to apoptosis as a result of chronic HCV infection. The plant virus-derived vector R9-CMV displayed a strong pro-apoptotic effect associated with activation of both caspase-8 and -9, indicating the involvement of both extrinsic and intrinsic apoptotic pathways. A parallel R9-CMV-mediated activation of endoplasmic reticulum-stress was suggested by the significant induction of BiP/GRP78, GADD153 and caspase-12. These data contribute to define the complex HCV/host interaction, and open new prospects for developing a plant-derived antigen-presenting system to strengthen host defences against persistent pathogens.

Apoptotic effects of a chimeric plant virus carrying a mimotope of the hepatitis C virus hypervariable region 1: role of caspases and endoplasmic reticulum-stress.

PIAZZOLLA, Giuseppina;NAPOLI, Nicola;TORTORELLA, Cosimo
2012

Abstract

The role of apoptosis in the persistence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is controversial. Moreover, conflicting data on the modulation of this process by HCV proteins have been provided. We evaluated the susceptibility of peripheral lymphocytes from patients with chronic hepatitis C to apoptosis both spontaneous and after incubation with a chimeric Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) carrying 180 copies of the synthetic R9 mimotope obtained from more than 200 hypervariable region-1 sequences of HCV. Resting T lymphocytes were found to be sensitized to apoptosis as a result of chronic HCV infection. The plant virus-derived vector R9-CMV displayed a strong pro-apoptotic effect associated with activation of both caspase-8 and -9, indicating the involvement of both extrinsic and intrinsic apoptotic pathways. A parallel R9-CMV-mediated activation of endoplasmic reticulum-stress was suggested by the significant induction of BiP/GRP78, GADD153 and caspase-12. These data contribute to define the complex HCV/host interaction, and open new prospects for developing a plant-derived antigen-presenting system to strengthen host defences against persistent pathogens.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11586/127011
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