Folia Microbiologica

, Volume 51, Issue 6, pp 665–680

Structure and functions of hepatitis C virus proteins: 15 years after

  • L. Krekulová
  • V. Řehák
  • L. W. Riley
Review

DOI: 10.1007/BF02931636

Cite this article as:
Krekulová, L., Řehák, V. & Riley, L.W. Folia Microbiol (2006) 51: 665. doi:10.1007/BF02931636

Abstract

Since its discovery in 1988, the hepatitis C virus (HCV) has become a hot topic of research by many groups around the world. This globally spread infectious agent is responsible for a large proportion of chronic viral hepatitides. The clue to halting the hepatitis C pandemic may be the detailed understanding of the virus structure, its replication mechanism, and the exact functions of the various proteins. Such understanding could enable the development of new antivirals targeted against hepatitis C virus and possibly an effective vaccine. This review recaps the current knowledge about the HCV genome 15 years after its discovery. The structure and function of particular viral structural (core, E1, E2) and nonstructural (NS2, NS3, NS4, NS5) proteins and noncoding regions known to date are described. With respect to frequent conflicting reports from different research groups, results reproducibly demonstrated by independent investigators are emphasized. Owing to many obstacles and limitations inherent in doing research on this noteworthy virus, the current knowledge is incomplete and the answers to many important questions are to be expected in the future.

Abbreviations

ER

endoplasmic reticulum

Fas

a cell-surface protein receptor expressed on essentially all cells of the body that when bound to its ligand (FasL) signals a caspase cascade, ultimately resulting in apoptosis (programmed cell death)

HBV

hepatitis B virus

HCV

hepatitis C virus

HVR1

hypervariable region (1)

IRES

internal ribosomal entry site

ISDR

interferon sensitivity-determining region

LTβR

receptors for lymphotoxin β

NC

noncoding region

NF-κB

nuclear factor κB

NS

nonstructural (protein)

ORF

open reading frame

PKR

protein kinase, dsRNA-dependent

RT-PCR

reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction

dsRNA

double-stranded RNA

ssRNA

single-stranded RNA

TNF

tumor necrosis factor

TNFR

tumor necrosis factor receptor (family)

Copyright information

© Institute of Microbiology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. Krekulová
    • 1
    • 2
  • V. Řehák
    • 1
  • L. W. Riley
    • 3
  1. 1.Hepatology, Nusie Clinic, Remedis - Nusie ClinicPragueCzechia
  2. 2.Departmen of Internal Medicine, 1st Medical SchoolCharles University and Central Military HospitalPragueCzechia
  3. 3.Division of Infectious Diseases, School of Public HealthUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

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