Published online Jul 28, 2021. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v27.i28.4555
Peer-review started: January 27, 2021
First decision: March 29, 2021
Revised: April 4, 2021
Accepted: July 9, 2021
Article in press: July 9, 2021
Published online: July 28, 2021
The hepatitis C virus (HCV), an obligatory intracellular pathogen, highly depends on its host cells to propagate successfully. The HCV life cycle can be simply divided into several stages including viral entry, protein translation, RNA replication, viral assembly and release. Hundreds of cellular factors involved in the HCV life cycle have been identified over more than thirty years of research. Characterization of these cellular factors has provided extensive insight into HCV replication strategies. Some of these cellular factors are targets for anti-HCV therapies. In this review, we summarize the well-characterized and recently identified cellular factors functioning at each stage of the HCV life cycle.
Core Tip: The hepatitis C virus (HCV) depends on its host cells to propagate successfully. Hundreds of cellular factors involved in the HCV life cycle have been identified. Some of these cellular factors are potential targets for anti-HCV therapies (e.g., scavenger receptor class B type 1, epidermal growth factor receptor, Niemann–Pick C1-like 1, microRNA-122, cyclophilin A). A successful vaccine for HCV is still a challenge in the near future. Investigating the cellular factors involved in viral entry should help vaccine development. HCV is also a unique model to study the interactions between viral infection and cellular lipid metabolisms.