Sodium taurocholate cotransporting polypeptide (NTCP) is expressed at the surface of human hepatocytes and functions as an entry receptor of hepatitis B virus (HBV). Recently, we have reported that epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is involved in NTCP-mediated viral internalization during the cell entry process. Here, we analyzed which function of EGFR is essential for mediating HBV internalization. In contrast to the reported crucial function of EGFR-downstream signaling for the entry of hepatitis C virus (HCV), blockade of EGFR-downstream signaling proteins, including mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K), and signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT), had no or only minor effects on HBV infection. Instead, deficiency of EGFR endocytosis resulting from either a deleterious mutation in EGFR or genetic knockdown of endocytosis adaptor molecules abrogated internalization of HBV via NTCP and prevented viral infection. EGFR activation triggered a time-dependent relocalization of HBV preS1 to the early and late endosomes and to lysosomes in concert with EGFR transport. Suppression of EGFR ubiquitination by site-directed mutagenesis or by knocking down two EGFR-sorting molecules, signal-transducing adaptor molecule (STAM) and lysosomal protein transmembrane 4β (LAPTM4B), suggested thatEGFRtransport to the late endosome is critical for efficient HBV infection. Cumulatively, these results support the idea that theEGFRendocytosis/sorting machinery drives the translocation of NTCP-bound HBV from the cell surface to the endosomal network, which eventually enables productive viral infection.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology