Hepatitis C virus (HCV) often causes chronic infection that affects over 200 million people worldwide. Chronic HCV infection is associated with fibrosis, cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The approved therapy for HCV infection is pegylated interferon-1 (IFN- 1) in combination with ribavirin that offers limited benefit depending on the genotype of the infecting virus. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying treatment failure remain unknown. Our long-term goal is to understand how HCV causes persistent infection at the molecular level, which will help in developing effective therapeutic modalities. Studies on HCV is challenging because of its limited growth in cell culture, and lack of a convenient animal model for virus infection and disease progression. We have recently shown that HCV infection in cell culture activates interferon beta (IFN-2) expression and induces autophagy. However, we do not fully understand how HCV blunts innate immune response and establishes chronic infection. We hypothesize that HCV interacts with cellular proteins and perturb their functions for establishment of persistent infection. Three complementary approaches will be used to test our hypothesis:
Aim 1 will determine molecular processes by which HCV modulates intracellular IFN signaling pathway.
Aim 2 will determine whether HCV impairs innate immunity by induction of autophagy. Finally, Aim 3 will examine intrahepatic innate immune response in HCV infected patients to correlate with treatment outcome. The results from our proposed studies will provide molecular mechanisms for viral persistence, and will aid in devising future therapeutic strategies for treatment of chronic HCV infection.

Public Health Relevance

HCV infection affects over 200 million people worldwide. Our study will reveal the molecular mechanisms of viral persistence, which may lead to new therapeutic strategies for treatment of chronic HCV infection.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Research Project (R01)
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Immunity and Host Defense Study Section (IHD)
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Doo, Edward
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Saint Louis University
Schools of Medicine
Saint Louis
United States
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Ray, Ratna B; Ray, Ranjit (2018) Hepatitis C virus manipulates humans as its favorite host for long term relationship. Hepatology :
Sur, Subhayan; Sasaki, Reina; Devhare, Pradip et al. (2018) Association between MicroRNA-373 and Long Noncoding RNA NORAD in Hepatitis C Virus-Infected Hepatocytes Impairs Wee1 Expression for Growth Promotion. J Virol 92:
Devhare, Pradip B; Ray, Ratna B (2018) Extracellular vesicles: Novel mediator for cell to cell communications in liver pathogenesis. Mol Aspects Med 60:115-122
Sasaki, Reina; Devhare, Pradip B; Steele, Robert et al. (2017) Hepatitis C virus-induced CCL5 secretion from macrophages activates hepatic stellate cells. Hepatology 66:746-757
Meyer, Keith; Kwon, Young-Chan; Ray, Ratna B et al. (2017) N-terminal gelsolin fragment potentiates TRAIL mediated death in resistant hepatoma cells. Sci Rep 7:12803
Sasaki, Reina; Devhare, Pradip; Ray, Ratna B et al. (2017) Hepatitis C virus-induced tumor-initiating cancer stem-like cells activate stromal fibroblasts in a xenograft tumor model. Hepatology 66:1766-1778
Devhare, Pradip B; Sasaki, Reina; Shrivastava, Shubham et al. (2017) Exosome-Mediated Intercellular Communication between Hepatitis C Virus-Infected Hepatocytes and Hepatic Stellate Cells. J Virol 91:
Shrivastava, Shubham; Devhare, Pradip; Sujijantarat, Nanthiya et al. (2016) Knockdown of Autophagy Inhibits Infectious Hepatitis C Virus Release by the Exosomal Pathway. J Virol 90:1387-96
Bhattacharya, Sourav; Steele, Robert; Shrivastava, Shubham et al. (2016) Serum miR-30e and miR-223 as Novel Noninvasive Biomarkers for Hepatocellular Carcinoma. Am J Pathol 186:242-7
Meyer, Keith; Kwon, Young-Chan; Liu, Shuanghu et al. (2015) Interferon-? inducible protein 6 impairs EGFR activation by CD81 and inhibits hepatitis C virus infection. Sci Rep 5:9012

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