Object: The interferon-induced Jak-STAT signal alone is not sufficient to explain all the biological effects of IFN. The PI3-K pathways have emerged as a critical additional component of IFN-induced signaling. This study attempted to clarify that relationship between IFN-induced PI3-K-Akt-mTOR activity and anti-viral action. Result: When the human normal hepatocyte derived cell line was treated with rapamycin (rapa) before accretion of IFN-α, tyrosine phosphorylation of STAT-1 was diminished. Pretreatment of rapa had an inhibitory effect on the IFN-α-induced expression of PKR and p48 in a dose dependent manner. Rapa inhibited the IFN-α inducible IFN-stimulated regulatory element luciferase activity in a dose-dependent manner. However, wortmannin, LY294002 and Akt inhibitor did not influence IFN-α inducible luciferase activity. To examine the effect of PI3-K-Akt-mTOR on the anti-HCV action of IFN-α, the full-length HCV replication system, OR6 cells were used. The pretreatment of rapa attenuated its anti-HCV replication effect in comparison to IFN-α alone, whereas the pretreatment with PI3-K inhibitors, wortmannin and LY294002 and Akt inhibitor did not influence IFN-induced anti-HCV replication. Conclusion: IFN-induced mTOR activity, independent of PI3K and Akt, is the critical factor for its anti-HCV activity. Jak independent mTOR activity involved STAT-1 phosphorylation and nuclear location, and then PKR is expressed in hepatocytes.
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