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J Infect Dis. 2000 Feb;181(2):432-41.

Mutations in the protein kinase-binding domain of the NS5A protein in patients infected with hepatitis C virus type 1a are associated with treatment response.

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Medizinische Klinik II, J. W. Goethe-University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.


An interaction of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) NS5A protein with the interferon (IFN)-alpha-inducible double-stranded RNA-activated protein kinase (PKR) was demonstrated in vitro. The clinical correlation between amino acid mutations within the HCV NS5A region and response to antiviral treatment is controversial. Thirty-two patients chronically infected with HCV-1a, who were treated with IFN-alpha with or without ribavirin, were studied. The carboxy-terminal half of HCV NS5A was sequenced and was investigated by phylogenetic and conformational analyses. Eight patients achieved a sustained virologic response. An end-of-treatment response but relapse thereafter was observed among 8 patients, whereas 16 patients were nonresponders. The median number of mutations within the PKR-binding domain but not within the previously described IFN sensitivity-determining region was significantly higher for patients with sustained (3 mutations [range, 1-5]) or end-of-treatment (4 mutations [range, 1-5]) virologic response than for nonresponders (2 mutations [range, 0-3]) (P=.0087). Phylogenetic and conformational analyses of NS5A sequences allowed no differentiation between sensitive and resistant strains.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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