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.

Charles Rice and colleagues at Rockefeller University say the viral genome encodes a single polyprotein, which cleaves into proteins including the NS2-3 protease.

The crystal structure of the protease catalytic domain reveals a novel structure: it is actually a dimer composed of two identical proteins that each contributes amino acids to two equivalent active sites.

The researchers say concentration and dimerization of NS2-3 may be a limiting factor in the viral life cycle because the protease is essential for viral replication. Therefore, details of the structure might help in the search for small-molecule inhibitors directed against the active site.

The disease affects an estimated 170 million people worldwide, often leading to cirrhosis and liver cancer.

The study is detailed in this week's issue of the journal Nature.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Tax forms could pose challenge for HealthCare.gov

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Elusive viral 'machine' architecture finally rendered

Aug 11, 2014

For half a century biologists have studied the way that the lambda virus parks DNA in the chromosome of a host E. coli bacterium and later extracts it as a model reaction of genetic recombination. But fo ...

Trapped: Cell-invading piece of virus captured in lab

Aug 06, 2014

In recent research published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, Saint Louis University investigators report catching integrase, the part of retroviruses like HIV that is responsible for insertion of the ...

Recommended for you

First expert consensus on ventricular arrhythmias published

13 hours ago

The first expert consensus on ventricular arrhythmias is published today. The novel document compiles current evidence on the diagnosis and management of ventricular arrhythmias and was agreed by international experts from ...

User comments : 0