A subpopulation of hepatitis C virus (HCV) core protein in cells harboring full-length HCV replicons is biochemically associated with detergent-resistant membranes (DRMs) in a manner similar to that of markers of classical lipid rafts. Core protein does not, however, colocalize in immunofluorescence studies with classical plasma membrane raft markers, such as caveolin-1 and the B subunit of cholera toxin, suggesting that core protein is bound to cytoplasmic raft microdomains distinct from caveolin-based rafts. Furthermore, while both the structural core protein and the nonstructural protein NS5A associate with membranes, they do not colocalize in the DRMs. Finally, the ability of core protein to localize to the DRMs did not require other elements of the HCV polyprotein. These results may have broad implications for the HCV life cycle and suggest that the HCV core may be a valuable probe for host cell biology.
|Original language||American English|
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Journal of Virology|
|State||Published - Nov 2004|