Hepatitis C virus entry and neutralization.
Stamataki Z., Grove J., Balfe P., McKeating JA.
The processes of hepatitis C virus (HCV) entry and antibody-mediated neutralization are intimately linked. The high frequency of neutralizing antibodies (nAbs) that inhibit E2-CD81 interaction(s) suggests that this is a major target for the humoral immune response. The observation that HCV can transmit to naive cells by means of CD81-dependent and -independent routes in vitro awaits further investigation to assess the significance in vivo but may offer new strategies for HCV to escape nAbs. The identification of claudins in the entry process highlights the importance of cell polarity in defining routes of HCV entry and release, with recent experiments suggesting a polarized route of viral entry into cells in vitro. In this review, the authors summarize the current understanding of the mechanism(s) defining HCV entry and the role of nAbs in controlling HCV replication.