The Hepatitis C Virus-Induced Membranous Web in Liver Tissue

Abstract : Host cell membrane rearrangements induced by the hepatitis C virus (HCV) have been exclusively studied in vitro. These studies have shown that HCV induces double-membrane vesicles (DMVs), which probably serve to separate replication sites from the cytoplasmic sensors of the innate immune response. We report for the first time the observation of HCV-induced membrane rearrangements in liver biopsy specimens from patients chronically infected with HCV. Unlike observations performed in vitro, the membranous web detected in liver tissue seems essentially made of clusters of single-membrane vesicles derived from the endoplasmic reticulum and close to lipid droplets. This suggests that the DMVs could be a hallmark of laboratory-adapted HCV strains, possibly due to their ability to achieve a high level of replication. Alternatively, the concealment of viral RNA in DMVs may be part of innate immune response mechanisms particularly developed in hepatoma cell lines cultured in vitro. In any case, this constitutes the first report showing the differences in the membranous web established by HCV in vitro and in vivo.
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Emmanuelle Blanchard, Philippe Roingeard. The Hepatitis C Virus-Induced Membranous Web in Liver Tissue. Cells, MDPI, 2018, 7 (11), pp.191. ⟨10.3390/cells7110191⟩. ⟨inserm-02136470⟩

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