Chronic hepatitis B, C, and D virus (HBV, HCV, and HDV) infections are the leading causes of liver disease and cancer worldwide. Recently, the solute carrier and sodium taurocholate co-transporter NTCP has been identified as a receptor for HBV and HDV. Here, we uncover NTCP as a host factor regulating HCV infection. Using gain- and loss-of-function studies, we show that NTCP mediates HCV infection of hepatocytes and is relevant for cell-to-cell transmission. NTCP regulates HCV infection by augmenting the bile-acid-mediated repression of interferon-stimulated genes (ISGs), including IFITM3. In conclusion, our results uncover NTCP as a mediator of innate antiviral immune responses in the liver, and they establish a role for NTCP in the infection process of multiple viruses via distinct mechanisms. Collectively, our findings suggest a role for solute carriers in the regulation of innate antiviral responses, and they have potential implications for virus-host interactions and antiviral therapies.
Keywords: NTCP; antiviral therapy; hepatitis B virus; hepatitis C virus; hepatitis D virus; host factor; innate immune responses; signaling; solute carrier; viral entry.
Copyright © 2016 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.