HCV core protein modulates Rb pathway through pRb down-regulation and E2F-1 up-regulation

Jae We Cho, Won Ki Baek, Se Hwan Yang, Jun Chang, Young Chul Sung, Min Ho Suh

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59 Scopus citations


It has been recognized that the HCV (hepatitis C virus) core protein plays an important role in hepatocarcinogenesis. The functional inactivation of the Rb pathway appears to be a major event for multi-step cancer carcinogenesis. To elucidate the role of the HCV core protein in hepatocarcinogenesis, we investigated the effect of the HCV core protein on the Rb pathway in both Rat-1 cell lines, stably expressing the HCV core protein and the doxycycline-regulated cell lines. The HCV core stable transfectants showed a dramatic decrease in the pRb levels and E2F-1 up-regulation. In the doxycycline-regulated cell lines, the pRb levels were significantly decreased which are followed by E2F-1 up-regulation. HCV core stable transfectants showed higher cell growth rates and were sensitize to apoptosis. Thus, our results first indicate that the HCV core protein decreases the expression of pRb, thereby allowing E2F-1 to be constitutively active, which is thought to result in rapid cell proliferation or sensitizing to apoptosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-66
Number of pages8
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Cell Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 5 Feb 2001

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by a grant of the 1998 Korean National Cancer Control Program, Ministry of Health and Welfare, R.O.K.


  • Core protein
  • Hepatitis C virus
  • Hepatocarcinogenesis
  • Rb pathway


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