Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a major public health issue leading to chronic liver diseases. HCV particles are unique owing to their particular lipid composition, namely the incorporation of neutral lipids and apolipoproteins. The mechanism of association between HCV virion components and these lipoproteins factors remains poorly understood as well as its impact in subsequent steps of the viral life cycle, such as entry into cells. It was proposed that the lipoprotein biogenesis pathway is involved in HCV morphogenesis; yet, recent evidence indicated that HCV particles can mature and evolve biochemically in the extracellular medium after egress. In addition, several viral, cellular and blood components have been shown to influence and regulate this specific association. Finally, this specific structure and composition of HCV particles was found to influence entry into cells as well as their stability and sensitivity to neutralizing antibodies. Due to its specific particle composition, studying the association of HCV particles with lipoproteins remains an important goal towards the rational design of a protective vaccine.
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