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High-throughput profiling of alpha interferon- and interleukin-28B-regulated microRNAs and identification of let-7s with anti-hepatitis C virus activity by targeting IGF2BP1.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Virology
1098-5514
Publisher
American Society for Microbiology
Publication Date
Volume
87
Issue
17
Pages
9707–9718
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1128/JVI.00802-13
PMID: 23824794
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a major cause of severe liver disease. Interferon (IFN)/ribavirin treatment remains the standard therapeutic regimen for HCV infection in most countries. IFN-stimulated genes are believed to contribute to antiviral effects. However, emerging evidence suggests that microRNAs (miRNAs), a class of noncoding small RNAs, are involved in the control of viral infection. Here, we systematically profiled the hepatocyte expression of a set of 750 miRNAs in response to alpha interferon (IFN-α) and interleukin-28B (IL-28B) treatments. The anti-HCV activity of differentially expressed miRNAs was evaluated using cell culture-derived HCV in vitro. The results demonstrate that let-7b had a significant anti-HCV effect by inhibiting HCV replication and viral protein translation in human hepatoma cells. In particular, we show that the inhibition of let-7b attenuated the anti-HCV effects of IFN-α and IL-28B. Furthermore, we show that the host factor insulin-like growth factor 2 mRNA-binding protein 1 (IGF2BP1) is a target of let-7b. IGF2BP1 was required for HCV replication, and its expression was downregulated by IFN-α and IL-28B. Deletion of the wild-type seed region of let-7b abolished its antiviral activity. Finally, we demonstrate that other let-7 family miRNAs were able to inhibit HCV and to suppress IGF2BP1 expression. In conclusion, we provide an example of a host miRNA regulated by type I and type III IFNs that inhibits HCV replication and infectivity by targeting host targets. These results highlight the important role of miRNAs in the host antiviral immune response and provide a novel candidate for anti-HCV therapy.

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