Hepatitis C virus (HCV) p7 is known to be a nonselective cation channel for HCV maturation. Because the interaction of HCV proteins with host lipids in the endoplasmic reticulum membrane is crucial for the budding process, the identification of p7–lipid interactions could be important for understanding the HCV life cycle. Here, we report that p7 interacts with phosphatidylserine (PS) to induce membrane permeabilization. The interaction of p7 with PS was not inhibited by Gd3+ ions, which have been known to interact with negatively charged lipids, but channel activity and p7-induced mitochondrial depolarization were inhibited by Gd3+ ions. From the present results, we suggest that the p7–PS interaction plays an essential role in regulating its ion channel function and could be a potential molecular target for anti-HCV therapy.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Funding: This study was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korean government (NRF-2017M2A2A7A01070813 and NRF-2017R1D1A1B03032322).
© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
- Hepatitis C virus
- Membrane permeabilization
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Computer Science Applications
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Organic Chemistry
- Inorganic Chemistry