Navigation Links
Keck School of Medicine of USC researchers find clue to how Hepatitis C virus harms liver

Researchers at the University of Southern California (USC) have discovered a trigger by which the Hepatitis C virus enters liver cells ─ shedding light on how this serious and potentially deadly virus can begin to damage the liver.

The findings, reported in the Dec. 7, 2012 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry, may give scientists a target for future development of treatments for the virus.

In the early stages of a Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) infection, the researchers found, the virus binds to receptors on the liver cells' surface and activates PI3K and AKT, two proteins that control cell growth and metabolism, and which allow HCV to enter liver cells.

"When these two protein factors are activated, they trigger a cascade of reactions, altering the physiology of infected cells," said corresponding author and lead researcher James Ou, professor of molecular microbiology and immunology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. "Later, by continuing to disturb this pathway, the virus may sensitize the liver cells to eventually become cancerous."

The findings were reported in a paper titled "Transient Activation of the PI3K-AKT Pathway by Hepatitis C Virus to Enhance Viral Entry." First author was Zhe Liu, a postdoctoral research associate in Ou's lab. Serving as co-investigators were Keck faculty members Keigo Machida, assistant professor of molecular microbiology and immunology, and Michael M.C. Lai, distinguished emeritus professor of microbiology and immunology, and neurology.

There are four-million carriers of HCV in the U.S. Often, people don't know that they have the virus until they already have some liver damage, which can take many years to develop. In time, the virus can lead to serious and deadly liver conditions: cirrhosis, a chronic, degenerative condition; cancer; and organ failure.

Some 20 percent of HCV patients will develop severe liver cirrhosis and may require liver transplantation, Ou noted. About five percent develop liver cancer after 20 to 30 years.

Ou has been studying HCV for 20 years and Hepatitis B virus for 30 years. The most recent study reflects his long-term interest in understanding the interactions between these two viruses and their host cells, and how they cause liver cancer.

"The next step, which we've just begun, is to understand how the activation of the PI3K-AKT pathway allows the [HCV] virus to enter the cell," Ou said. "This research has led to the identification of a novel target for the development of new anti-HCV drugs. Compounds that disrupt the PI3K-AKT pathway are expected to prevent the virus from entering liver cells, causing the virus to disappear."


Contact: Leslie Ridgeway
University of Southern California - Health Sciences

Related medicine news :

1. Even Preschoolers View the Overweight Negatively
2. Catastrophic Head Injuries to High School Football Players Rising
3. That impulsive, moody preschooler may grow up to be a problem gambler
4. Some Schools Dont Let Kids Carry Asthma Inhalers
5. Awards to 5 IU School of Medicine physicians address critical need for geriatricians
6. Excessive sleepiness may be cause of learning, attention and school problems
7. Study: More Pre-Teens Get Vaccines When Middle Schools Require Them
8. A place to play: Researcher designs schoolyard for children with autism
9. Fees Lead Some Kids to Skip After-School Sports: Survey
10. Outstanding high school students receive awards to stimulate research interest in digestive diseases
11. The Tennessee Car Accident Lawyers at Michael D. Ponce & Associates Alert Public of CDC Survey Revealing Majority of High School Seniors Admitting to Texting Behind Wheel
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... ... Dr. John Pierce, Medical Director at the Ageless Forever clinic in Las ... Pro laser therapy cap. FDA cleared for safety and efficacy, the Capillus272 offers men ... surgery, prescription pills, or topical foams. , “Capillus272™ Pro is a home-use device ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... For the first time, ... Two Organizations, One Beat ” campaign. The partnership between the two groups began in ... in MAP International’s cause. , MAP International was founded in 1954 and is an ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Dental professionals who would ... OH , are invited to attend Dr. Mark Iacobelli’s Advanced Implant Mentoring (AIM) CE ... Cleveland, OH. , As the co-founders of Advanced Implant Mentoring (AIM), Dr. Iacobelli ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... 25, 2015 , ... The McHenry County law firm of Botto Gilbert ... Attorneys Francisco J. Botto and Alex C. Wimmer. Attorneys Botto and Wimmer represented the ... App (2d) 130884WC. , According to court documents, Adcock testified that on May 10, ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... SCOTTSDALE, AZ) ... plastic surgeon specializing in both surgical and non-surgical treatments, announced the expansion of ... Hobgood Facial Plastic Surgery. , Highly trained and nationally recognized for his ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... Nov. 25, 2015  ARKRAY USA ... to provide evidence demonstrating the accuracy of its blood ... on Insulin Resistance, Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease in ... the Company,s GLUCOCARD ® 01 meter and the ... requirements. The ability to accurately measure glucose levels in ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Kitov Pharma ceuticals ... biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of therapeutic candidates ... announced the closing of its previously announced underwritten public ... each representing 20 ordinary shares of the Company, and ... and warrants were issued in a fixed combination of ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... -- Trovagene, Inc. (NASDAQ: TROV ), a developer of ... Antonius Schuh, Ph.D., is scheduled to present a corporate ... Healthcare Conference. th Annual Piper Jaffray ... New York on Tuesday, December ... be available for one-on-one meetings during the conference. The ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: