Advertisement
Advertisement

Read Now: HIV 2014 Year in Review >>

Medical News

Researchers Find Clue to How Hepatitis C Virus Harms Liver

December 13, 2012

Researchers at the University of Southern California (USC) found a trigger that is used by the hepatitis C virus (HCV) to enter liver cells. They discovered that in the early stages of HCV infection, the virus binds to receptors on the surface of liver cells and activates PI3K and AKT, proteins that control cell growth and metabolism, and which allow HCV to enter the cells. According to James Ou, professor of molecular microbiology and immunology at USC's Keck School of Medicine, when the two protein factors are activated, they initiate a group of reactions that alter the physiology of infected cells. Later, by continuing to disturb this pathway, HCV may sensitize the liver cells to become cancerous.

Ou has been studying HCV for 20 years and the hepatitis B virus for 30 years. He explained that the next step is to understand how activation of the PI3K-AKT pathway allows HCV to enter the cell. Ou also noted that the research has led to the identification of a novel target for developing new drugs to treat HCV in the form of compounds that disrupt the PI3K-AKT pathway. These anti-hepatitis drugs would be expected to prevent the virus from entering, and thus, cause the virus to disappear.

The study, "Transient Activation of the PI3K-AKT Pathway by Hepatitis C Virus to Enhance Viral Entry," was published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry (2012;287(50): 41922–41930).

Back to other news for December 2012

Adapted from:
Medical Xpress
12.12.2012




This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
 

No comments have been made.
 

Add Your Comment:
(Please note: Your name and comment will be public, and may even show up in
Internet search results. Be careful when providing personal information! Before
adding your comment, please read TheBody.com's Comment Policy.)

Your Name:


Your Location:

(ex: San Francisco, CA)

Your Comment:

Characters remaining:

Advertisement