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Viruses 2010, 2(9), 2108-2133; doi:10.3390/v2092108

Oncogenic Potential of Hepatitis C Virus Proteins

1
Department of Internal Medicine, Edward A. Doisy Research Center, 1100 S. Grand Blvd., 8th Floor, St. Louis, MO 63104, USA
2
Department of Pathology, Edward A. Doisy Research Center, 1100 S. Grand Blvd., 2nd Floor, St. Louis, MO 63104, USA
3
Molecular Microbiology & Immunology, Edward A. Doisy Research Center, 1100 S. Grand Blvd., 8th Floor, St. Louis, MO 63104, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 July 2010 / Revised: 23 September 2010 / Accepted: 24 September 2010 / Published: 27 September 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cell Transformation by RNA Viruses)
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Abstract

Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a major risk factor for liver disease progression, and may lead to cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The HCV genome contains a single-stranded positive sense RNA with a cytoplasmic lifecycle. HCV proteins interact with many host-cell factors and are involved in a wide range of activities, including cell cycle regulation, transcriptional regulation, cell proliferation, apoptosis, lipid metabolism, and cell growth promotion. Increasing experimental evidences suggest that HCV contributes to HCC by modulating pathways that may promote malignant transformation of hepatocytes. At least four of the 10 HCV gene products, namely core, NS3, NS5A and NS5B play roles in several potentially oncogenic pathways. Induction of both endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and oxidative stress by HCV proteins may also contribute to hepatocyte growth promotion. The current review identifies important functions of the viral proteins connecting HCV infections and potential for development of HCC. However, most of the putative transforming potentials of the HCV proteins have been defined in artificial cellular systems, and need to be established relevant to infection and disease models. The new insight into the mechanisms for HCV mediated disease progression may offer novel therapeutic targets for one of the most devastating human malignancies in the world today.
Keywords: Hepatitis C virus; transcriptional regulation; oncogene regulation; microRNA; oxidative stress; apoptosis; fibrosis; metabolic disorders; cytokine modulation; hepatocyte growth regulation hepatocellular carcinoma Hepatitis C virus; transcriptional regulation; oncogene regulation; microRNA; oxidative stress; apoptosis; fibrosis; metabolic disorders; cytokine modulation; hepatocyte growth regulation hepatocellular carcinoma
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Banerjee, A.; Ray, R.B.; Ray, R. Oncogenic Potential of Hepatitis C Virus Proteins. Viruses 2010, 2, 2108-2133.

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