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Virology. 2003 Jan 20;305(2):260-6.

Hepatitis C virus NS2 protein inhibits gene expression from different cellular and viral promoters in hepatic and nonhepatic cell lines.

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Department of Medicine I, University of Bonn, Sigmund Freud Strasse 25, Germany.


The mechanisms leading to viral persistence and hepatocarcinogenesis in hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection are not fully understood. Recently, evidence has been accumulated that HCV viral proteins might interfere with gene expression of host cells. Here, we demonstrate that the amino-terminal portion of HCV NS2 protein inhibits the expression of reporter genes driven by different promoters or enhancer elements and also inhibits hepatitis B virus (HBV) gene expression and HBV DNA replication. The inhibitory effect of HCV NS2 on liver and non-liver-specific promoters and enhancer elements might be relevant for the pathogenesis of chronic HCV infection.

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