National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), National Institute of Health (NIH), USA
Structural insights into the mechanism of viral entry into host cells: a co-complex of host receptors and viral proteins
Host: R. Sonti
Understanding the mechanism of viral entry into a host cell is a prerequisite for the successful development of therapeutics. My previous experience with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) unravels an important mechanism of HCV entry into the host cell. HCV infection is a causal agent of chronic liver disease, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma in humans and afflicts mo re th an 70 mi llion pe ople wo rldwide. Th e HC V envelope glycoproteins E1 and E2 are responsible for the binding with the host-cell receptors (Scavenger receptor class B, type I; SRB-I, claudin, and occludin), but CD81 binding is particularly interesting from an immune-response perspective. During its entry into the host cell, HCV E2 uses a hybrid triggering mechanism in which both acidification and CD81 interaction are necessary for optimal membrane binding. This finding c an b e s uccessfully e xtrapolated t o o ther v iruses. F or e xample, t wo d eadly flaviviruses, dengue and zika, cause many fatalities in India. It would be interesting to explore the mechanistic insights of these viruses. The study can provide details of viral entry and disease progression and lead to the development of drugs and vaccines for human welfare.
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