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Articles by Felix Alvarez
Total Records ( 2 ) for Felix Alvarez
  Viviana Falcon , Nelson Acosta-Rivero , Mineko Shibayama , Jose Luna-Munoz , Magdalena Miranda- Sanchez , Jorge Gavilondo , Maria-C de la Rosa , Ivón Menéndez , Bienvenido Gra , Waldo Garcia , Santiago Duenas-Carrera , Jose Silva , Glay Chinea , Maritza Gonzalez Bravo , Felix Alvarez , Juan Morales , Juan Kouri and Victor Tsutsumi
  Analysis of Hepatitis C Virus (HCV)-infected hepatocytes at the cellular level may contribute to elucidate the mechanisms of HCV pathogenesis. In this work, the presence of HCV components and pathological reactions in apoptotic hepatocytes from chronic HCV-infected patients were studied by electron microscopy and confocal microscopy. Eight samples of liver biopsies from patients with chronic hepatitis C were studied by laser scanning confocal microscopy, Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) and Immunoelectron Microscopy (IEM). Data provide evidence for apoptosis of hepatocytes from HCV-infected liver biopsies during chronic HCV infection. Confirmation of this process was based on the morphological data by TEM including cell shrinkage; chromatin condensation; formation of apoptotic bodies; phagocytosis by neighbouring cells; and the presence of DNA fragmentation by TUNEL assay and caspase 3 activation. Interestingly, Hepatitis C core protein (HCcAg) was specifically immunolabeled in the rough endoplasmic reticulum, mitochondria as well as in the nucleus of apoptotic hepatocytes. In addition, E1 was specifically immunostained in the cytoplasm and in the mitochondria of some hepatocytes. The presence of Crystalloid Bodies (CB) similar to those observed in recombinant P. pastoris expressing HCcAg was observed in the cytoplasm of some hepatocytes. Immunogold labelling showed that HCcAg co-localized with these CB. In addition, structures forming a paracristalline array and particles with a diameter of 50 nm appeared in the mitochondria of some apoptotic hepatocytes. Moreover, unstructured large aggregates containing HCcAg similar to those detected at late stages of HCcAg expression in recombinant P. pastoris cells were frequently observed in damaged hepatocytes. Of note, these aggregates were specifically immunostained with anti-HCcAg. Data suggest the possibility for a direct role of these HCV-related structures as well as HCcAg and E1 in apoptosis and pathogenicity.
  Nelson Acosta-Rivero , Joanna Poutou , Alexis Mussachio , Viviana Falcon , Yaraima Aguilera , Armando Rodriguez , Angel Perez , Julio C. Aguilar , Maria C de la Rosa , Felix Alvarez , Juan Morales-Grillo , Juan Kouri and Santiago Duenas-Carrera
  Recently, it has been shown that HCV core proteins (HCcAg) with C-terminal deletions assemble in vitro into virus-like particles (VLPs) in the presence of structured RNA molecules. Results presented in this work showed that a truncated HCcAg variant covering the first 120 aa (HCcAg.120) with a 32 aa N-terminal fusion peptide (6xHistag-XpressTMepitope) interacts with plasmid DNA vaccine. Interestingly, the buoyant density of VLPs containing HCcAg.120 in CsCl gradients changed from 1.15-1,17 g mL1 to 1.30-1.34 g mL1 after addition of plasmid DNA to assembly reactions. In addition, a delay in electrophoretic mobility of HCcAg.120-plasmid samples on agarose gels was observed indicating a direct interaction between VLPs and nucleic acids. Remarkably, addition of either plasmid DNA or tRNA to assembly reactions leaded to heterogeneous and larger VLPs formation than those observed in HCcAg.120 assembly reactions. VLPs containing HCcAg.120 induced a specific IgG antibodies in mice that reacted with hepatocytes from HCV-infected patients. VLPs obtained in this work would be important to elucidate the mechanisms behind the ability of HCcAg to assemble into a nucleocapsid structure. Besides, the capacity of particles containing HCcAg.120 to interact with nucleic acids could be used in the development of DNA vaccines and viral vectors based on these particles.
 
 
 
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