Expressional Screening of Interferon-Stimulated Genes for Antiviral Activity Against Hepatitis C Virus Replication

J Viral Hepat. 2006 Oct;13(10):690-700. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2893.2006.00732.x.


Type-I interferons (IFNs) and the interferon-stimulated genes (ISGs) play a major role in antivirus responses against hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. In this study, we studied expression profiles of ISGs in cells supporting subgenomic HCV replication (Huh7/Rep), and screened their activities to suppress HCV replication. Real-time PCR analyses showed that the expression levels of 23 ISGs were significantly lower in Huh7/Rep than naive Huh7 cells due to transcriptional suppression of the interferon-stimulated response element (ISRE). Furthermore, the expression level of ISGs was also decreased in the cured Huh7 cells in which replicon had been eliminated (cHuh7), indicating adaptation of the cells to support HCV replication by downregulating ISGs. On the other hand, expression of HCV replicon was significantly suppressed by overexpression of several ISGs including PKR, MxA, IRF-9, GBP-1, IFI-6-16, IFI-27, 25OAS and IRF-1. Knock down of GBP-1, IFI-6-16 and IFI-27 by short hairpin RNA resulted in increase of HCV replication. Thus, we conclude that downregulation of ISG expression is required in the host cells supporting HCV replication and that several ISGs directly suppress HCV replication. The search for ISGs that regulate HCV replication may help to elucidate the cellular antiviral defence mechanisms against HCV infection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Line
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Down-Regulation
  • GTP-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Gene Library
  • Hepacivirus / genetics
  • Hepacivirus / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Interferon Regulatory Factors / genetics*
  • Interferon-alpha / genetics*
  • Liver / cytology
  • Liver / virology
  • Mitochondrial Proteins / genetics
  • Proteins / genetics
  • Replicon
  • Response Elements
  • Signal Transduction
  • Virus Replication*


  • GBP1 protein, human
  • IFI6 protein, human
  • IFN-inducible protein p27
  • Interferon Regulatory Factors
  • Interferon-alpha
  • Mitochondrial Proteins
  • Proteins
  • GTP-Binding Proteins