Jude Juventus Aweya, Ching Wooen Sze, Anthony Bayega, Nur Khairiah Mohd-Ismail, Lin Deng, Hak Hotta, Yee-Joo Tan, NS5B induces up-regulation of the BH3-only protein, BIK, essential for the hepatitis C virus RNA replication and viral release, Virology, Volume 474, 1 January 2015, Pages 41-51, ISSN 0042-6822, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.virol.2014.10.027.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) induces cytopathic effects in the form of hepatocytes apoptosis thought to be resulted from the interaction between viral proteins and host factors. Using pathway specific PCR array, we identified 9 apoptosis-related genes that are dysregulated during HCV infection, of which the BH3-only pro-apoptotic Bcl-2 family protein, BIK, was consistently up-regulated at the mRNA and protein levels. Depletion of BIK protected host cells from HCV-induced caspase-3/7 activation but not the inhibitory effect of HCV on cell viability. Furthermore, viral RNA replication and release were significantly suppressed in BIK-depleted cells and over-expression of the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase, NS5B, was able to induce BIK expression. Immunofluorescence and co-immunoprecipitation assays showed co-localization and interaction of BIK and NS5B, suggesting that BIK may be interacting with the HCV replication complex through NS5B. These results imply that BIK is essential for HCV replication and that NS5B is able to induce BIK expression.
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