, Volume 29, Issue 1, pp 61-70
Date: 20 Jan 2014

Construction of a chimeric hepatitis C virus replicon based on a strain isolated from a chronic hepatitis C patient

Abstract

Subgenomic replicons of hepatitis C virus (HCV) have been widely used for studying HCV replication. Here, we report a new subgenomic replicon based on a strain isolated from a chronically infected patient. The coding sequence of HCV was recovered from a Chinese chronic hepatitis C patient displaying high serum HCV copy numbers. A consensus sequence designated as CCH strain was constructed based on the sequences of five clones and this was classified by sequence alignment as belonging to genotype 2a. The subgenomic replicon of CCH was replication-deficient in cell culture, due to dysfunctions in NS3 and NS5B. Various JFH1/CCH chimeric replicons were constructed, and specific mutations were introduced. The introduction of mutations could partially restore the replication of chimeric replicons. A replication-competent chimeric construct was finally obtained by the introduction of NS3 from JFH1 into the backbone of the CCH strain.