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Building a mechanistic mathematical model of hepatitis C virus entry

Kalemera, M; Mincheva, D; Grove, J; Illingworth, CJR; (2019) Building a mechanistic mathematical model of hepatitis C virus entry. PLoS Computational Biology , 15 (3) , Article e1006905. 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1006905. Green open access

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Abstract

The mechanism by which hepatitis C virus (HCV) gains entry into cells is a complex one, involving a broad range of host proteins. Entry is a critical phase of the viral lifecycle, and a potential target for therapeutic or vaccine-mediated intervention. However, the mechanics of HCV entry remain poorly understood. Here we describe a novel computational model of viral entry, encompassing the relationship between HCV and the key host receptors CD81 and SR-B1. We conduct experiments to thoroughly quantify the influence of an increase or decrease in receptor availability upon the extent of viral entry. We use these data to build and parameterise a mathematical model, which we then validate by further experiments. Our results are consistent with sequential HCV-receptor interactions, whereby initial interaction between the HCV E2 glycoprotein and SR-B1 facilitates the accumulation CD81 receptors, leading to viral entry. However, we also demonstrate that a small minority of virus can achieve entry in the absence of SR-B1. Our model estimates the impact of the different obstacles that viruses must surmount to achieve entry; among virus particles attaching to the cell surface, around one third of viruses accumulate sufficient CD81 receptors, of which 4-8% then complete the subsequent steps to achieve productive infection. Furthermore, we make estimates of receptor stoichiometry; in excess of 10 receptors are likely to be required to achieve viral entry. Our model provides a tool to investigate the entry characteristics of HCV variants and outlines a framework for future quantitative studies of the multi-receptor dynamics of HCV entry.

Type: Article
Title: Building a mechanistic mathematical model of hepatitis C virus entry
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1006905
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1006905
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright: © 2019 Kalemera et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Infection and Immunity
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10071554
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