HCV NS5A co-operates with PKR in modulating HCV IRES-dependent translation

Eirini Karamichali, Pelagia Foka, Eliza Tsitoura, Katerina Kalliampakou, Dorothea Kazazi, Peter Karayiannis, Urania Georgopoulou, Penelope Mavromara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Translation initiation of the Hepatitis C virus (HCV) genome is driven by an internal ribosome entry site (IRES), located within the 5' non-coding region. Several studies have suggested that different cellular non canonical proteins or viral proteins can regulate the HCV IRES activity. However, the role of the viral proteins on HCV translation remains controversial. In this report, we confirmed previous studies showing that NS5A down-regulates IRES activity in HepG2 but not in Huh7 cells suggesting that the NS5A effect on HCV IRES is cell-type dependent. Additionally, we provide strong evidence that activated PKR up-regulates the IRES activity while silencing of endogenous PKR had the opposite effect. Furthermore, we present data indicating that the NS5A-mediated inhibitory effect on IRES-dependent translation could be linked with the PKR inactivation. Finally, we show that NS5A from GBV-C but not from GBV-B down-regulates HCV IRES activity in the absence or the presence of PKR over expression. Notably, HCV and GBV-C but not GBV-B NS5A contains a previously identified PKR interacting protein domain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-122
Number of pages10
JournalInfection, Genetics and Evolution
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • GBV-B NS5A
  • GBV-C NS5A
  • HCV NS5A
  • PKR
  • Translation


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