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Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infects 3% of the world population and is the leading cause of liver failure in the United States. A unique feature of HCV is that the viral particles are integral to very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL)-derived lipoprotein particles. The virus is assembled into VLDL in hepatocytes and released out of the cells together with VLDL. The virus then infects more hepatocytes by entering the cells through the low-density lipoprotein receptor, which mediates uptake of majorities of VLDL-derived lipoprotein particles. These observations suggest that HCV may belong to a novel class of viruses that is associated with VLDL. Understanding the relationship between HCV and VLDL metabolism may reveal new strategies to treat HCV infection.


Jin Ye. Hepatitis C virus: a new class of virus associated with particles derived from very low-density lipoproteins. Arteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology. 2012 May;32(5):1099-103

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PMID: 22517369

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