Methods in Molecular Biology Volume 587, 2010, pp 223-233
Date: 15 Sep 2009

A Method to Simultaneously Monitor Hepatitis C Virus NS3 Helicase and Protease Activities

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The hepatitis C virus NS3 protein contains an N-terminal serine protease and a C-terminal helicase that unwinds RNA or DNA duplexes. The HCV NS3 protein is the target for several antiviral drugs in clinical trials, which inhibit the protease function. A method is reported to simultaneously monitor the helicase and protease function of the NS3 protein in a single reaction using fluorescence spectroscopy and a single chain recombinant protein where NS3 is fused to its protease activator NS4A. The method monitors both activities together in real time and is amenable to high-throughput screening. This new procedure could be used to identify compounds that inhibit both the helicase and protease activity of NS3.