Hepatitis C virus (HCV) causes chronic hepatitis leading to liver fibrosis and autoimmune diseases. AIMP1/p43 is a multifunctional protein initially known as a cofactor of aminoacyl tRNA synthetase complex. Its function includes negative regulation of TGF-β signaling and suppression of Lupus-like autoimmune disease by inhibition of surface expression of gp96. HCV E2 was shown to directly interact with AIMP1/p43 by GST pulldown assay and coimmunoprecipitation. Their subcellular colocalization was observed in an immunofluorescence confocal microscopy. We showed that HCV E2 led to degradation of AIMP1/p43 in two ways. First, in the presence of HCV E2, endogenous AIMP1/p43 was shown to be degraded in an ubiquitin-dependent proteasome pathway. Second, grp78, an ER chaperone, was shown to interact with and stabilize AIMP1/p43. And HCV E2 inhibited this interaction leading to reduction of cellular AIMP1/p43. The degradation of AIMP1/p43 by HCV E2 resulted in increase of TGF-β signaling and cell surface expression of gp96. Thus we suggest that these are novel mechanisms responsible for liver fibrosis and autoimmune diseases caused by HCV.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)