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Hepatitis C virus (HCV) binding to hepatocytes is thought to be mediated via interaction of the E2 glycoprotein with (co-)receptors including CD81 and scavenger receptor class B type I (SR-BI). Here, the expression of CD81 and SR-BI was analysed on peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) subsets, and the binding of genotype 1 soluble truncated E2 (sE2) proteins to these cells was investigated. All PBMC subsets expressed CD81, although at varying levels. In contrast, SR-BI was only detected on monocytes and dendritic cells (DCs). The genotype 1a H77c sE2 protein showed higher PBMC binding than other genotype 1a/b sE2s. H77c sE2 binding to different PBMC subsets largely paralleled their level of CD81 expression, and could be inhibited by blocking E2-CD81 interaction. However, those PBMC subsets reported to be infected by HCV in vivo (monocytes, DCs and B cells) also exhibited residual, CD81-independent binding, indicating roles for SR-BI/other receptor(s) in mediating haematopoietic cell infection.

Original publication




Journal article


J Gen Virol

Publication Date





2507 - 2512


Antigens, CD, CD36 Antigens, Cell Line, Dendritic Cells, Genotype, Hepacivirus, Hepatocytes, Humans, Leukocytes, Mononuclear, Monocytes, Receptors, Immunologic, Receptors, Scavenger, Scavenger Receptors, Class B, Tetraspanin 28, Viral Envelope Proteins