Published in Volume
96, Issue 1
(July 1995)J Clin Invest.
1995, The American Society for
Comparison of full-length sequences of interferon-sensitive and resistant hepatitis C virus 1b. Sensitivity to interferon is conferred by amino acid substitutions in the NS5A region.
Second Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Japan.
Published July 1995
We have previously demonstrated that sensitivity to interferon is different among hepatitis C virus (HCV) quasispecies simultaneously detected in same individuals and that interferon-resistant HCV quasispecies are selected during the treatment. To determine the genetic basis of their resistance to interferon, HCV genotype-1b was obtained from serum of three patients before and during interferon therapy, and their full-length nucleotide and deduced amino acid sequences were determined. Comparison of the pairs of interferon-resistant and interferon-sensitive HCV isolates in respective individuals demonstrated clusters of amino acid differences in the COOH-terminal half of the NS5A region (codon 2154-2383), which contained a common unique amino acid difference at codon 2218. Additional sequence data of the COOH-terminal half of the NS5A region obtained from six interferon-resistant and nine interferon-sensitive HCV confirmed the exclusive existence of missense mutations in a 40 amino acid stretch of the NS5A region around codon 2218 (from codon 2209 to 2248) in interferon-sensitive HCV. On the other hand, this region of interferon-resistant HCV was identical to that of prototype HCV genotype-1b (HCV-J, HCV-JTa, or HC-J4). We designated this region as the interferon sensitivity determining region. Thus, HCV genotype-1b with the prototype interferon sensitivity determining region appears to be interferon-resistant strains. The specific nature of these mutations might make it possible to predict prognostic effects of interferon treatment.
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