A Twist in the Genome Thwarts Hepatitis C

Sep 30, 2009 By Susan Brown
A Twist in the Genome Thwarts Hepatitis C
Credit: Thomas Hermann

(PhysOrg.com) -- Viruses like Hepatitis C proliferate by tricking cellular machinery into manufacturing the parts for duplicate viral particles.

Although thwarting that process might effectively treat viral infections, the few inhibiting compounds that have been identified so far aren’t good candidates for drugs. And biochemists weren’t exactly sure how they were working.

Now Thomas Hermann, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry, and colleagues at UC San Diego have shown that this bent loop on the viral genome changes its shape in response to the inhibitors, preventing the from reading the codes for viral proteins.

Their discovery, published online this week in Nature Chemical Biology, will guide the search for better candidates to quell the virus, which the World Health Organization estimates infects about 170 million people worldwide and causes chronic liver disease and liver cancer.

Hermann’s group is now looking for new, more easily synthesized , that might stop viral replication in a similar way.

Provided by University of California - San Diego (news : web)

Explore further: New technique reveals immune cell motion through variety of tissues

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Hepatitis C virus enzyme sites revealed

Jul 24, 2006

U.S. researchers say the crystal structure of one of the hepatitis C viral proteins might offer new opportunities for antiviral drug design.

New strategy for inhibiting virus replication

Aug 14, 2009

Viruses need living cells for replication and production of virus progeny. Thus far, antiviral therapy primarily targets viral factors but often induces therapy resistance. New improved therapies attempt to targets cellular ...

Penn researchers discover new mechanism for viral replication

Aug 16, 2007

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have identified a new strategy that Kaposi’s Sarcoma Associated Herpesvirus (KSHV) uses to dupe infected cells into replicating its viral genome. This allows ...

Recommended for you

'Global positioning' for molecules

Dec 19, 2014

In everyday life, the global positioning system (GPS) can be employed to reliably determine the momentary location of one en route to the desired destination. Scientists from the Institute of Physical and ...

Cells build 'cupboards' to store metals

Dec 17, 2014

Lawrence Livermore researchers in conjunction with collaborators at University of California (link is external), Los Angeles have found that some cells build intracellular compartments that allow the cell ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.