From the Journals

Host stress response may be a factor in early-stage HCV clearance



The cellular stress response in hepatocytes may play a major role in controlling hepatitis C virus (HCV). This response may be an important host factor for virus clearance during the early stages of HCV infection, according to a review of acute and chronic HCV infection by W. Alfredo Ríos-Ocampo, MD, and his colleagues (Virus Res. 2019. doi: 10.1016/j.virusres.2018.12.013).

Hepatitis C

The reviewers examined the mechanisms of induction and modulation of oxidative stress and endoplasmic-reticular stress with regard to viral persistence and cell survival. The accumulated research indicates that the activation of the eIF2-alpha/ATF4 pathway and selective autophagy induction are involved in the elimination of harmful viral proteins after oxidative stress induction. This all suggests a negative role of autophagy upon HCV infection or a negative regulation of viral replication.

“We conclude from published studies and our own research that viral protein synthesis activates adaptive responses, including autophagy pathways, that act to limit viral protein load and thereby reduce oxidative stress and cell death. Exploitation of these pathways to reduce viral replication will be the next goal and might be a valuable addition to antiviral therapy,” the reviewers concluded.

The authors reported that they had no conflicts of interest.

SOURCE: Ríos-Ocampo, WA, et al. Virus Res. 2019. doi: 10.1016/j.virusres.2018.12.013).

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