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Mathematical Model of Viral Kinetics In Vitro Estimates the Number of E2-CD81 Complexes Necessary for Hepatitis C Virus Entry

Padmanabhan, Pranesh and Dixit, Narendra M (2011) Mathematical Model of Viral Kinetics In Vitro Estimates the Number of E2-CD81 Complexes Necessary for Hepatitis C Virus Entry. In: PLOS COMPUTATIONAL BIOLOGY, 7 (12).

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Abstract

Interaction between the hepatitis C virus (HCV) envelope protein E2 and the host receptor CD81 is essential for HCV entry into target cells. The number of E2-CD81 complexes necessary for HCV entry has remained difficult to estimate experimentally. Using the recently developed cell culture systems that allow persistent HCV infection in vitro, the dependence of HCV entry and kinetics on CD81 expression has been measured. We reasoned that analysis of the latter experiments using a mathematical model of viral kinetics may yield estimates of the number of E2-CD81 complexes necessary for HCV entry. Here, we constructed a mathematical model of HCV viral kinetics in vitro, in which we accounted explicitly for the dependence of HCV entry on CD81 expression. Model predictions of viral kinetics are in quantitative agreement with experimental observations. Specifically, our model predicts triphasic viral kinetics in vitro, where the first phase is characterized by cell proliferation, the second by the infection of susceptible cells and the third by the growth of cells refractory to infection. By fitting model predictions to the above data, we were able to estimate the threshold number of E2-CD81 complexes necessary for HCV entry into human hepatoma-derived cells. We found that depending on the E2-CD81 binding affinity, between 1 and 13 E2-CD81 complexes are necessary for HCV entry. With this estimate, our model captured data from independent experiments that employed different HCV clones and cells with distinct CD81 expression levels, indicating that the estimate is robust. Our study thus quantifies the molecular requirements of HCV entry and suggests guidelines for intervention strategies that target the E2-CD81 interaction. Further, our model presents a framework for quantitative analyses of cell culture studies now extensively employed to investigate HCV infection.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to Public Library of Science.
Department/Centre: Division of Information Sciences > BioInformatics Centre
Division of Mechanical Sciences > Chemical Engineering
Date Deposited: 16 Feb 2012 09:00
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2012 09:04
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ernet.in/id/eprint/43450

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