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Tacke R.S.,Carter Immunology Center | Tacke R.S.,University of Virginia | Tosello-Trampont A.,Carter Immunology Center | Nguyen V.,Carter Immunology Center | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Biological Chemistry | Year: 2011

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is highly efficient in the establishment of persistent infection, which leads to the development of chronic liver disease and hepatocellular carcinoma. Impaired T cell responses with reduced IFN-γ production have been reported to be associated with persistent HCV infection. Extracellular HCV core is a viral factorknownto cause HCV-inducedTcell impairment via its suppressive effect on the activation and induction of pro-inflammatory responses by antigen-presenting cells (APCs). The activation of STAT proteins has been reported to regulate the inflammatory responses and differentiation of APCs. To further characterize the molecular basis for the regulation of APC function by extracellular HCV core, we examined the ability of extracellular HCV core to activate STAT family members (STAT1, -2, -3, -5, and -6). In this study, we report the activation of STAT3 on human monocytes, macrophages, and dendritic cells following treatment with extracellular HCV core as well as treatment with a gC1qR agonistic monoclonal antibody. Importantly, HCV core-induced STAT3 activation is dependent on the activation of the PI3K/Akt pathway. In addition, the production of multifunctional cytokine IL-6 is essential for HCV core-induced STAT3 activation. These results suggest that HCV core-induced STAT3 activation plays a critical role in the alteration of inflammatory responses by APCs, leading to impaired anti-viral T cell responses during HCV infection. © 2011 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

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