The hepatitis C virus (HCV) core protein has been implicated in the transregulation of various RNA polymerase (Pol) II dependent genes as well as in the control of cellular growth and proliferation. In this study, we show that the core protein, whether individually expressed or produced as part of the HCV viral polyprotein, is the only viral product that has the potential to activate RNA Pol I transcription. Deletion analysis demonstrated that the fragment containing the N-terminal 1–156 residues, but not the 1–122 residues, of HCV core protein confers the same level of transactivation activity as the full-length protein. Moreover, the integrity of the Ser116 and Arg117 residues of HCV core protein was found to be critical for its transregulatory functions. We used DNA affinity chromatography to analyze the human ribosomal RNA promoter associated transcription machinery, and the results indicated that recruitment of the upstream binding factor and RNA Pol I to the ribosomal RNA promoter is enhanced in the presence of HCV core protein. Additionally, the HCV core protein mediated activation of ribosomal RNA transcription is accompanied by the hyperphosphorylation of upstream binding factor on serine residues, but not on threonine residues. Moreover, HCV core protein is present within the RNA Pol I multiprotein complex, indicating its direct involvement in facilitating the formation of a functional transcription complex. Protein-protein interaction studies further indicated that HCV core protein can associate with the selectivity factor (SL1) via direct contact with a specific component, TATA-binding protein (TBP). Additionally, the HCV core protein in cooperation with TBP is able to activate RNA Pol II and Pol III mediated transcription, in addition to RNA Pol I transcription. Thus, the results of this study suggest that HCV has evolved a mechanism to deregulate all three nuclear transcription systems, partly through targeting of the common transcription factor, TBP. Notably, the ability of the HCV core protein to upregulate RNA Pol I and Pol III transcription supports its active role in promoting cell growth, proliferation, and the progression of liver carcinogenesis during HCV infection.

This content is only available via PDF.
Copyright / Drug Dosage / Disclaimer
Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.
You do not currently have access to this content.