Virology and cell biology of the hepatitis C virus life cycle: an update

J Hepatol. 2014 Nov;61(1 Suppl):S3-S13. doi: 10.1016/j.jhep.2014.06.031. Epub 2014 Nov 3.


Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is an important human pathogen that causes hepatitis, liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. It imposes a serious problem to public health in the world as the population of chronically infected HCV patients who are at risk of progressive liver disease is projected to increase significantly in the next decades. However, the arrival of new antiviral molecules is progressively changing the landscape of hepatitis C treatment. The search for new anti-HCV therapies has also been a driving force to better understand how HCV interacts with its host, and major progresses have been made on the various steps of the HCV life cycle. Here, we review the most recent advances in the fast growing knowledge on HCV life cycle and interaction with host factors and pathways.

Keywords: Hepatitis C virus; Viral life cycle; Virus entry; Virus-host interactions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cell Biology / trends*
  • Hepacivirus / genetics
  • Hepacivirus / growth & development*
  • Hepacivirus / pathogenicity*
  • Hepatitis C / pathology
  • Hepatitis C / physiopathology
  • Hepatocytes / pathology
  • Hepatocytes / virology
  • Humans
  • Life Cycle Stages / physiology*
  • Lipid Metabolism / physiology
  • RNA, Viral / physiology
  • Virology / trends*
  • Virus Replication / physiology


  • RNA, Viral