Hepatology; co-auth.: PAF

Hepatology. 2013 Aug 8. doi: 10.1002/hep.26671. [Epub ahead of print]

Quantitative proteomics identifies the membrane-associated peroxidase GPx8 as a cellular substrate of the hepatitis C virus NS3-4A protease.


Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois, University of Lausanne, Switzerland.


The hepatitis C virus (HCV) NS3-4A protease is not only an essential component of the viral replication complex and a prime target for antiviral intervention but also a key player in the persistence and pathogenesis of HCV. It cleaves and thereby inactivates two crucial adaptor proteins in viral RNA sensing and innate immunity, MAVS and TRIF, a phosphatase involved in growth factor signaling, TC-PTP, and the E3 ubiquitin ligase component DDB1. Here, we explored quantitative proteomics to identify novel cellular substrates of the NS3-4A protease. Cell lines inducibly expressing the NS3-4A protease were analyzed by stable isotopic labeling using amino acids in cell culture (SILAC) coupled with protein separation and mass spectrometry. This approach identified the membrane-associated peroxidase GPx8 as a bona fide cellular substrate of the HCV NS3-4A protease. Cleavage by NS3-4A occurs at Cys 11, removing the cytosolic tip of GPx8, and was observed in different experimental systems as well as in liver biopsies from patients with chronic hepatitis C. Overexpression and RNA silencing studies revealed that GPx8 is involved in viral particle production but not in HCV entry or RNA replication. In conclusion, we provide proof-of-concept for the use of quantitative proteomics to identify cellular substrates of a viral protease and describe GPx8 as a novel proviral host factor targeted by the HCV NS3-4A protease. (Hepatology 2013;).

Copyright © 2013 American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.


HCV, NS3-4A, SILAC, glutathione peroxidase 8, mass spectrometry