Khachatoorian R, Ganapathy E, Ahmadieh Y, Wheatley N, Sundberg C, Jung CL, Arumugaswami V, Raychaudhuri S, Dasgupta A, French SW
We previously identified HSP70 and HSC70 in complex with NS5A in a proteomic screen. Here, coimmunoprecipitation studies confirmed NS5A/HSC70 complex formation during infection, and immunofluorescence studies showed NS5A and HSC70 to colocalize. Unlike HSP70, HSC70 knockdown did not decrease viral protein levels. Rather, intracellular infectious virion assembly was significantly impaired by HSC70 knockdown. We also discovered that both HSC70 nucleotide binding and substrate binding domains directly bind NS5A whereas only the HSP70 nucleotide binding domain does. Knockdown of both HSC70 and HSP70 demonstrated an additive reduction in virus production. This data suggests that HSC70 and HSP70 play discrete roles in the viral life cycle. Investigation of these different functions may facilitate developing of novel strategies that target host proteins to treat HCV infection.