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J Virol. 1991 Jun;65(6):3015-21.

Expression of processed core protein of hepatitis C virus in mammalian cells.

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  • 1Department of Medical Entomology, National Institute of Health, Tokyo, Japan.


A structural protein of hepatitis C virus (HCV) was expressed in monkey COS cells under the control of an exogenous promoter, and a protein of 22 kDa was identified by immunoblot analysis. This protein (p22), which was produced by processing in COS cells, reacted specifically to sera of chronic hepatitis C patients, and its coding region was mapped at the most amino-terminal part of the HCV polyprotein. These results suggested that the p22 protein is the nucleocapsid (core) protein of HCV. Moreover, the assay detecting antibody to p22 was found to be useful for early diagnosis of HCV infection.

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