Hepatitis C Virus and Insulin Signaling

  • Francesco NegroEmail author
  • Sophie Clément


Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a major cause of liver disease in humans. It is estimated that about 150–200 million people have been in contact with HCV worldwide. HCV is a positive-strand RNA virus classified in the Hepacivirus genus within the Flaviviridae family. HCV RNA genome comprises a 5′-noncoding region, an open reading frame encoding for both structural and nonstructural proteins, and a 3′-noncoding region. The structural proteins, which are assembled into the mature virion, include the core protein and the envelope glycoproteins E1 and E2. The nonstructural (NS) proteins include the p7 (functioning as an ion channel), the NS2-3 protease, the NS3 serine protease (which possesses also an RNA helicase activity), the NS4A, NS4B and NS5A proteins, and the NS5B RNA-dependent RNA polymerase [1]. The lack of proof-reading activity of the latter accounts for the elevated sequence heterogeneity of HCV sequences, which have been classified into genotypes and subtypes [1]. Thus, there are six genotypes, diverging from one another in their sequence by about 30–35%, and ­several subtypes. Furthermore, in any given individual there is an array of variants in equilibrium among themselves that are collectively referred to as quasispecies [1].


Insulin Resistance Chronic Hepatitis Sustained Virological Response Connective Tissue Growth Factor HOMA Score 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors’ experimental work cited in the present manuscript is supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation grant number 320000-116544.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departments of Internal Medicine and Pathology and ImmunologyUniversity of Geneva Medical CenterGenevaSwitzerland

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