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Antiviral immunity against a pathogen is mounted upon recognition by the host of virally associated structures. One of these viral 'signatures', double-stranded (ds) RNA, is a replication product of most viruses within infected cells and is sensed by Toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3) and the recently identified cytosolic RNA helicases RIG-I (retinoic acid(More)
Fascinating progress in the understanding of the molecular biology of hepatitis C virus (HCV) was achieved recently. The replicon system revolutionized the investigation of HCV RNA replication and facilitated drug discovery. Novel systems for functional analyses of the HCV glycoproteins allowed the validation of HCV receptor candidates and the investigation(More)
Growing experimental evidence indicates that, in addition to the physical virion components, the non-structural proteins of hepatitis C virus (HCV) are intimately involved in orchestrating morphogenesis. Since it is dispensable for HCV RNA replication, the non-structural viral protein NS2 is suggested to play a central role in HCV particle assembly.(More)
Non-structural protein 2 (NS2) plays an important role in hepatitis C virus (HCV) assembly, but neither the exact contribution of this protein to the assembly process nor its complete structure are known. In this study we used a combination of genetic, biochemical and structural methods to decipher the role of NS2 in infectious virus particle formation. A(More)
The hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp), represented by nonstructural protein 5B (NS5B), belongs to a class of integral membrane proteins termed tail-anchored proteins. Its membrane association is mediated by the C-terminal 21 amino acid residues, which are dispensable for RdRp activity in vitro. For this study, we investigated the(More)
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a leading cause of liver disease worldwide. Alpha interferon (IFN-alpha) therapy of chronic hepatitis C leads to a sustained response in 10 to 20% of patients only. The mechanisms of viral persistence and the pathogenesis of hepatitis C are poorly understood. We established continuous human cell lines, allowing the(More)
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) persists in the majority of infected individuals and is a major cause of chronic hepatitis, liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Chronic hepatitis C is currently treated with interferon (IFN)-α or with a combination of IFN-α and ribavirin. The availability of an HCV replicon system (Lohmann et al.
The hepatitis C virus (HCV) genome shows remarkable sequence variability, leading to the classification of at least six major genotypes, numerous subtypes and a myriad of quasispecies within a given host. A database allowing researchers to investigate the genetic and structural variability of all available HCV sequences is an essential tool for studies on(More)
Approximately 3% of the world population is chronically infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV), with potential development of cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Despite the availability of new antiviral agents, treatment remains suboptimal. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) identified rs12979860, a polymorphism nearby IL28B, as an important(More)
Variation in cellular gene expression levels has been shown to be inherited. Expression is controlled at transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels. Internal ribosome entry sites (IRES) are used by viruses to bypass inhibition of cap-dependent translation, and by eukaryotic cells to control translation under conditions when protein synthesis is(More)