Mir-194 is a hepatocyte gate keeper hindering HCV entry through targeting CD81 receptor.

Mekky, Radwa Yehia, Nada Magdy El-Ekiaby, Mohammed Tarif Hamza, Noha Mousaad Elemam, Mohammed El-Sayed, Gamal Esmat, and Ahmed Ihab Abdelaziz. "Mir-194 is a hepatocyte gate keeper hindering HCV entry through targeting CD81 receptor." The Journal of infection (2014).


OBJECTIVE: The tetraspanin CD81 is one of the main receptors involved in hepatitis C virus entry. Herein, we aimed to explore the role of microRNAs in regulating CD81 receptor expression and function.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Bioinformatics analysis was carried out to select potential mircroRNAs that binds CD81 3'untranslated region. Liver biopsies taken from 28 HCV genotype- 4 patients and 10 healthy donors were screened. Naïve, JFH1 and ED43/JFH1- infected- Huh7 cells were transfected with mimics and inhibitors followed by analyzing CD81 protein and mRNA expression. This was done using flow cytometry and Q-RT PCR, respectively. HCV entry into Huh7 cells was investigated post-transfection. Binding confirmation was done using luciferase reporter vector harboring wild/mutant target sites of microRNA. The impact of Epigallocatechin-gallate on modulating microRNA/CD81 expression was assessed.

RESULTS: Bioinformatics revealed that CD81 is a potential down-stream target for miR-194. A significant inverse correlation was found between miR-194 and CD81 expression in liver biopsies of HCV patients. Forcing the expression of miR-194 showed a down-regulation of CD81 protein, mRNA expression and significantly abrogated the HCV infectivity of Huh7 cells. Stimulation with EGCG enhanced mir-194 expression and down-regulated CD81 expression.

CONCLUSION: This study showed that mir-194 hinders HCV entry through targeting CD81 receptors.