Hepatitis C Virus and Autophagic Response
Dr. James Ou
September 6 at 12:20pm in the Fralin Auditorium, 102 Fralin Hall
Hosted by Dr. X.J. Meng
Dr. J.-H. James Ou received his Ph.D. from Caltech in 1982 where he studied the molecular biology of Togaviruses. He conducted his postdoctoral research at UC San Francisco to study hepatitis B virus (HBV) and joined the faculty of the University of Southern California (USC) in 1986. He is currently a Professor in the Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology at USC Keck School of Medicine. His current research interest is on HBV and HCV and the molecular mechanism of hepatocarcinogenesis induced by these two viruses. Dr. Ou is a well-recognized leader in the HBV and HCV research areas. He is an elected Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is also an elected member of Academia Sinica. Dr. Ou has served on the editorial boards of several research journals and is currently an Editor of Journal of Virology and a Section Editor of PLOS Pathogens.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a hepatotropic virus that belongs to the flavivirus family. This virus chronically infects approximately 70 million people in the world. Many of the HCV patients will develop severe liver diseases including liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Autophagy plays an important role in maintaining cellular homeostasis. HCV can induce autophagy in hepatocytes to enhance its replication. It temporally controls the autophagic flux. This allows autophagosomes to accumulate in HCV-infected cells to serve as the platform for HCV RNA replication. The assembly of the HCV RNA replication complex on autophagosomes initiates prior to or during the formation of phagophores, which then undergo homotypic fusion to produce autophagosomes. HCV also relocates lipid rafts, which are required for HCV RNA replication, from the plasma membrane to autophagosomes. In this presentation, the molecular process of how HCV controls the autophagic pathway in hepatocytes for its replication will be discussed.