ULBP1 is induced by hepatitis C virus infection and is the target of the NK cell-mediated innate immune response in human hepatocytes

Hiromichi Dansako, Hirotaka Imai, Youki Ueda, Shinya Satoh, Takaji Wakita, Nobuyuki Kato

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Natural killer (NK) cells through their NK group 2 member D (NKG2D) receptors recognize NKG2D ligands such as UL16-binding proteins (ULBPs) on virus-infected cells and subsequently trigger the host innate immune response. In the present study, we demonstrated that hepatitis C virus (HCV) induced the cell surface expression of ULBP1 in human immortalized hepatocyte PH5CH8 cells and human hepatoma HuH-7 cell-derived RSc cells. Interestingly, NK cell line NK-92 induced cytotoxicity and interferon-γ mRNA expression and subsequently reduced the levels of HCV RNA replication during co-culture with HCV-infected RSc cells. From these results, we conclude that ULBP1 is a target of the NK cell-mediated innate immune response in HCV-infected human hepatocytes.

Original languageEnglish
JournalFEBS Open Bio
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018



  • HCV RNA replication
  • Hepatitis C virus
  • Innate immune response
  • NK cell
  • ULBP1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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