Table of Contents
ISRN Virology
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 351407, 11 pages
Review Article

Interaction of Hepatitis C Viral Proteins with Cellular Oncoproteins in the Induction of Liver Cancer

Department of Microbiology, Immunology & Biochemistry, The University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN 38163, USA

Received 16 January 2014; Accepted 25 February 2014; Published 12 March 2014

Academic Editors: J. Choi and C. Torti

Copyright © 2014 Ramareddy V. Guntaka and Mythili K. Padala. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Hepatitis C virus infection is a major health problem all over the world. A large proportion of patients infected by HCV develop liver cirrhosis or cancer. However, the mechanism(s) remain to be elucidated. Since HCV does not carry any known oncogene, it is thought that interaction between virally encoded proteins and host proteins is responsible for carcinogenesis. Many crucial interactions between HCV-encoded proteins and host proteins have been reported. In this review we focus on the interaction of viral proteins with important regulators of cell cycle—oncoproteins YB-1, p53, and cyclin D1—which play a major role in cell proliferation, apoptosis, DNA repair, and genomic stability. Genetic variants of HCV accumulate in patients and alter these interactions of host cell proteins. It is a battle between the virus and host and the final outcome depends on the winner; if the host succeeds in clearing the virus the patient may not develop serious liver diseases. On the other hand, if the virus dominates by evolving quasispecies which code for altered proteins that interact differently with host proteins, or induce mutations in host protooncogenes, then the patient may develop liver cirrhosis and/or liver cancer.