Induction of Selenoprotein P mRNA during Hepatitis C Virus Infection Inhibits RIG-I-Mediated Antiviral Immunity.


Department of Laboratory Medicine, Kanazawa University Graduate School of Health Medicine, Kanazawa, Japan; Department of Gastroenterology, Kanazawa University Graduate School of Medicine, Kanazawa, Japan. Electronic address: [Email]


Patients infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. HCV infection is linked to various liver abnormalities, potentially contributing to this association. We show that HCV infection increases the levels of hepatic selenoprotein P (SeP) mRNA (SEPP1 mRNA) and serum SeP, a hepatokine linked to insulin resistance. SEPP1 mRNA inhibits type I interferon responses by limiting the function of retinoic-acid-inducible gene I (RIG-I), a sensor of viral RNA. SEPP1 mRNA binds directly to RIG-I and inhibits its activity. SEPP1 mRNA knockdown in hepatocytes causes a robust induction of interferon-stimulated genes and decreases HCV replication. Clinically, high SeP serum levels are significantly associated with treatment failure of direct-acting antivirals in HCV-infected patients. Thus, SeP regulates insulin resistance and innate immunity, possibly inducing immune tolerance in the liver, and its upregulation may explain the increased risk of type 2 diabetes in HCV-infected patients.


chronic hepatitis C,direct-acting antiviral drugs,hepatitis C virus,hepatokine,innate immunity,interferon,retinoic-acid-inducible gene I,selenoprotein P,type 2 diabetes,