Hepatitis C virus E2 envelope protein induces dendritic cell maturation

Y. Zhou*, Y. Lukes, J. Anderson, B. Fileta, B. Reinhardt, M. Sjogren

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Maturation is a critical process for dendritic cells (DC) to gain or enhance their functions in antigen presentation and T-cell activation. In this study, we investigated the effect of hepatitis C virus (HCV) envelope protein E2 on DC maturation and related functions. We show that binding of E2 protein to DC leads to a change from immature to mature phenotype as detected by an increased expression of cell surface molecules including CD83, CD80, CD86, CD11c and MHC class II. The E2-matured DC showed higher capacity to stimulate T-cell proliferation and interferon-γ production and displayed higher levels of interleukin-12 production when compared with immature DC. The induction of DC maturation by E2 is both time- and dose-dependent and can be inhibited by anti-E2 antibodies. In addition, DC matured by E2 showed decreased uptake of bovine serum albumin and latex beads, indicating their decreased activities of endocytosis and phagocytosis upon maturation. Taken together, our results demonstrated that E2 protein is able to induce dendritic cell maturation and suggested that E2 protein may play an important role in regulation of immune responses during HCV infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)849-858
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Viral Hepatitis
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Dendritic cell
  • HCV E2
  • Hepatitis C
  • T-cell activation


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