International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Vol.16, No.10, 23683-23694, 2015
Interferon Response in Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) Infection: Lessons from Cell Culture Systems of HCV Infection
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a positive-stranded RNA virus that infects approximately 130-170 million people worldwide. In 2005, the first HCV infection system in cell culture was established using clone JFH-1, which was isolated from a Japanese patient with fulminant HCV infection. JFH-1 replicates efficiently in hepatoma cells and infectious virion particles are released into the culture supernatant. The development of cell culture-derived HCV (HCVcc) systems has allowed us to understand how hosts respond to HCV infection and how HCV evades host responses. Although the mechanisms underlying the different outcomes of HCV infection are not fully understood, innate immune responses seem to have a critical impact on the outcome of HCV infection, as demonstrated by the prognostic value of IFN-lambda gene polymorphisms among patients with chronic HCV infection. Herein, we review recent research on interferon response in HCV infection, particularly studies using HCVcc infection systems.