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Hepatitis C Virus Nonstructural 5A Protein (HCV-NS5A) Inhibits Hepatocyte Apoptosis through the NF-κb/miR-503/bcl-2 Pathway

  • Xie, Zhengyuan (Department of Gastroenterology, The Second Affiliated Hospital, Nanchang University) ;
  • Xiao, Zhihua (Department of Gastroenterology, The Second Affiliated Hospital, Nanchang University) ;
  • Wang, Fenfen (Department of Gastroenterology, The Second Affiliated Hospital, Nanchang University)
  • Received : 2016.12.07
  • Accepted : 2017.02.22
  • Published : 2017.03.31

Abstract

The nonstructural protein 5A (NS5A) encoded by the human hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA genome is a multifunctional phosphoprotein. To analyse the influence of NS5A on apoptosis, we established an Hep-NS5A cell line (HepG2 cells that stably express NS5A) and induced apoptosis using tumour necrosis factor $(TNF)-{\alpha}$. We utilised the MTT assay to detect cell viability, real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction and Western blot to analyse gene and protein expression, and a luciferase reporter gene experiment to investigate the targeted regulatory relationship. Chromatin immunoprecipitation was used to identify the combination of $NF-{\kappa}B$ and miR-503. We found that overexpression of NS5A inhibited $TNF-{\alpha}$-induced hepatocellular apoptosis via regulating miR-503 expression. The cell viability of the $TNF-{\alpha}$ induced Hep-mock cells was significantly less than the viability of the $TNF-{\alpha}$ induced Hep-NS5A cells, which demonstrates that NS5A inhibited $TNF-{\alpha}$-induced HepG2 cell apoptosis. Under $TNF-{\alpha}$ treatment, miR-503 expression was decreased and cell viability and B-cell lymphoma 2 (bcl-2) expression were increased in the Hep-NS5A cells. Moreover, the luciferase reporter gene experiment verified that bcl-2 was a direct target of miR-503, NS5A inhibited $TNF{\alpha}$-induced $NF-{\kappa}B$ activation and $NF-{\kappa}B$ regulated miR-503 transcription by combining with the miR-503 promoter. After the Hep-NS5A cells were transfected with miR-503 mimics, the data indicated that the mimics could reverse $TNF-{\alpha}$-induced cell apoptosis and blc-2 expression. Collectively, our findings suggest a possible molecular mechanism that may contribute to HCV treatment in which NS5A inhibits $NF-{\kappa}B$ activation to decrease miR-503 expression and increase bcl-2 expression, which leads to a decrease in hepatocellular apoptosis.

Keywords

bcl-2;HCV-NS5A;hepatocyte apoptosis;miR-503;$NF-{\kappa}B$

Acknowledgement

Supported by : National Natural Science Foundation of China, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Nanchang University

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