Hepatitis C virus (HCV) glycoproteins E1 and E2 assemble to form a noncovalent heterodimer which, in the cell, accumulates in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Contrary to what is observed for proteins with a KDEL or a KKXX ER-targeting signal, the ER localization of the HCV glycoprotein complex is due to a static retention in this compartment rather than to its retrieval from the cis-Golgi region. A static retention in the ER is also observed when E2 is expressed in the absence of E1 or …
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