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CD81, a member of the tetraspanin integral membrane protein family, has been identified as an essential receptor for HCV (hepatitis C virus). The present review highlights recent published data on the role that CD81 plays in HCV entry, including the importance of actin-dependent lateral diffusion of CD81 within the cell membrane, CD81 endocytosis and the CD81–Claudin-1 receptor complex in HCV internalization. Additional functions for CD81 in the viral life cycle and the role of HCV–CD81 interactions in HCV-induced B-cell and CNS (central nervous system) abnormalities are discussed.

Original publication




Journal article


Biochemical Society Transactions


Portland Press Ltd.

Publication Date





532 - 536