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Hepatitis C Virus as a Unique Human Model Disease to Define Differences in the Transcriptional Landscape of T Cells in Acute versus Chronic Infection

Liver Center at the Gastrointestinal Unit, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02114, USA
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Viruses 2019, 11(8), 683; https://doi.org/10.3390/v11080683
Received: 27 June 2019 / Revised: 21 July 2019 / Accepted: 23 July 2019 / Published: 26 July 2019
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Abstract

The hepatitis C virus is unique among chronic viral infections in that an acute outcome with complete viral elimination is observed in a minority of infected patients. This unique feature allows direct comparison of successful immune responses with those that fail in the setting of the same human infection. Here we review how this scenario can be used to achieve better understanding of transcriptional regulation of T-cell differentiation. Specifically, we discuss results from a study comparing transcriptional profiles of hepatitis C virus (HCV)-specific CD8 T-cells during early HCV infection between patients that do and do not control and eliminate HCV. Identification of early gene expression differences in key T-cell differentiation molecules as well as clearly distinct transcriptional networks related to cell metabolism and nucleosomal regulation reveal novel insights into the development of exhausted and memory T-cells. With additional transcriptional studies of HCV-specific CD4 and CD8 T-cells in different stages of infection currently underway, we expect HCV infection to become a valuable model disease to study human immunity to viruses. View Full-Text
Keywords: viral hepatitis; hepatitis C virus; T cells; transcriptional regulation; transcription factors; metabolism; nucleosome viral hepatitis; hepatitis C virus; T cells; transcriptional regulation; transcription factors; metabolism; nucleosome
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Wolski, D.; Lauer, G.M. Hepatitis C Virus as a Unique Human Model Disease to Define Differences in the Transcriptional Landscape of T Cells in Acute versus Chronic Infection. Viruses 2019, 11, 683.

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