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: Researchers uncover cause of gum disease related to type 2 diabetes

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Nano world: Where towers construct themselves

Jun 02, 2014

Imagine a tower builds itself into the desired structure only by choosing the appropriate bricks. Absurd – and however, in the nano world this is reality: There an unordered crowd of components can initiate ...

Recommended for you

Breakthrough in understanding of important blood protein

48 minutes ago

The human body contains a unique protein that has the unusual property of destroying itself after a few hours of existence - it must therefore be continually recreated and is no stable protein. The protein, ...

Researchers review help for navigating 'Dr Google'

1 hour ago

With the onset of the digital age more and more people are turning to 'Dr Google' for health and medical information, however local researchers are worried about a lack of resources for helping consumers ...

User comments : 0