© 2018 Scrima, Piccoli, Moradpour and Capitanio. Chronic hepatitis C is characterized by metabolic disorders and by a microenvironment in the liver dominated by oxidative stress, inflammation and regeneration processes that can in the long term lead to liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Several lines of evidence suggest that mitochondrial dysfunctions play a central role in these processes. However, how these dysfunctions are induced by the virus and whether they play a role in disease progression and neoplastic transformation remains to be determined. Most in vitro studies performed so far have shown that several of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) proteins also localize to mitochondria, but the consequences of these interactions on mitochondrial functions remain contradictory and need to be confirmed in the context of productively replicating virus and physiologically relevant in vitro and in vivo model systems. In the past decade we have been proposing a temporal sequence of events in the HCV-infected cell whereby the primary alteration is localized at the mitochondria-associated ER membranes and causes release of Ca 2+ from the ER, followed by uptake into mitochondria. This ensues successive mitochondrial dysfunction leading to the generation of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species and a progressive metabolic adaptive response consisting in decreased oxidative phosphorylation and enhanced aerobic glycolysis and lipogenesis. Here we resume the major results provided by our group in the context of HCV-mediated alterations of the cellular inter-compartmental calcium flux homeostasis and present new evidence suggesting targeting of ER and/or mitochondrial calcium transporters as a novel therapeutic strategy.
Scrima, R., Piccoli, C., Moradpour, D., & Capitanio, N. (2018). Targeting Endoplasmic Reticulum and/or Mitochondrial Ca2+ Fluxes as Therapeutic Strategy for HCV Infection. Frontiers in Chemistry, 6. https://doi.org/10.3389/fchem.2018.00073