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: Fun and games make for better learners

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Hepatitis C virus proteins in space

Sep 18, 2014

Two researchers at Technische Universität München have won the 'International Space Station Research Competition' with their project 'Egypt Against Hepatitis C Virus.' As their prize, the scientists will ...

Recommended for you

Fun and games make for better learners

3 hours ago

Four minutes of physical activity can improve behaviour in the classroom for primary school students, according to new research by Brendon Gurd.

Routines most vital in avoiding Ebola infection: WHO

4 hours ago

Meticulously following stringent routines when putting on and removing protective equipment is more important than the kind of gear health care workers use to ward off Ebola infection, the World Health Organization said Friday.

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.