Thomas Pietschmann

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Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection causes chronic liver diseases and is a global public health problem. Detailed analyses of HCV have been hampered by the lack of viral culture systems. Subgenomic replicons of the JFH1 genotype 2a strain cloned from an individual with fulminant hepatitis replicate efficiently in cell culture. Here we show that the JFH1(More)
Chronic liver disease caused by infection with hepatitis C virus (HCV) is an important global health problem that currently affects 170 million people. A major impediment in HCV research and drug development has been the lack of culture systems supporting virus production. This obstacle was recently overcome by using JFH1-based full-length genomes that(More)
Signal peptides (SP) are key determinants for targeting glycoproteins to the secretory pathway. Here we describe the involvement in particle maturation as an additional function of a viral glycoprotein SP. The SP of foamy virus (FV) envelope glycoprotein is predicted to be unusually long. Using an SP-specific antiserum, we demonstrate that its proteolytic(More)
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a major cause of liver disease, but therapeutic options are limited and there are no prevention strategies. Viral entry is the first step of infection and requires the cooperative interaction of several host cell factors. Using a functional RNAi kinase screen, we identified epidermal growth factor receptor and ephrin receptor A2(More)
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is associated with chronic liver disease and currently affects about 3% of the world population. Although much has been learned about the function of individual viral proteins, the role of the HCV p7 protein in virus replication is not known. Recent data, however, suggest that it forms ion channels that may be targeted by(More)
The hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a flavivirus replicating in the cytoplasm of infected cells. The HCV genome is a single-stranded RNA encoding a polyprotein that is cleaved by cellular and viral proteases into 10 different products. While the structural proteins core protein, envelope protein 1 (E1) and E2 build up the virus particle, most nonstructural (NS)(More)
The lack of an efficient system to produce hepatitis C virus (HCV) particles has impeded the analysis of the HCV life cycle. Recently, we along with others demonstrated that transfection of Huh7 hepatoma cells with a novel HCV isolate (JFH1) yields infectious viruses. To facilitate studies of HCV replication, we generated JFH1-based bicistronic luciferase(More)
The hepatitis C virus (HCV) core protein represents the first 191 amino acids of the viral precursor polyprotein and is cotranslationally inserted into the membrane of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Processing at position 179 by a recently identified intramembrane signal peptide peptidase leads to the generation and potential cytosolic release of a(More)
The small membrane protein p7 of hepatitis C virus forms oligomers and exhibits ion channel activity essential for virus infectivity. These viroporin features render p7 an attractive target for antiviral drug development. In this study, p7 from strain HCV-J (genotype 1b) was chemically synthesized and purified for ion channel activity measurements and(More)
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a small enveloped RNA virus that belongs to the family Flaviviridae. A hallmark of HCV is its high propensity to establish a persistent infection that in many cases leads to chronic liver disease. Molecular studies of the virus became possible with the first successful cloning of its genome in 1989. Since then, the genomic(More)