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Virus Res. 2005 Dec;114(1-2):126-32. Epub 2005 Jul 27.

Efficient inhibition of hepatitis B virus replication by hammerhead ribozymes delivered by hepatitis delta virus.

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  • 1Section of Molecular Virology, State Key Laboratory of Virology, College of Life Sciences, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072, PR China.


Although it has been suggested that hepatitis delta virus (HDV) can be used as a vector to deliver biologically active RNAs into hepatocytes, modified HDV as a specific transporting and replicating vector in anti-viral research has not been investigated. In this study, we focused on the development of HDV as a replicative vector to deliver hammerhead ribozyme into hepatocytes and the study of the roles of delivered hammerhead ribozyme on the replication of hepatitis B virus (HBV). To investigate the effects of ribozyme delivered by HDV on HBV replication, we designed two hammerhead ribozymes that specifically target the hepatitis B virus genome. These two ribozymes were then inserted into the genome of hepatitis delta virus. Results showed that transfection of cells with tandem modified HDV cDNA resulted in the production of monomer form of sense and anti-sense genomic RNA indicating the recombinant HDV-ribozyme could replicate effectively. Our data also indicated that ribozymes delivered by the modified HDV had higher level of inhibition activity against HBV replication than that of ribozyme alone. This system provides a new approach for the study of mechanisms of HBV replication as well as for the potential treatment of HBV infection.

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