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J Virol. 1991 Mar;65(3):1105-13.

Structure and organization of the hepatitis C virus genome isolated from human carriers.

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Research Foundation for Microbial Diseases of Osaka University, Kagawa, Japan.


Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a major causative agent of posttransfusion non-A, non-B hepatitis, which often develops into malignant chronic diseases, including liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. We have cloned from human carriers overlapping cDNAs (9,416 bp) covering the entire coding region of the HCV genome. The latter encodes a 3,010-amino-acid polyprotein. In addition, there are 332 and 54 bases of 5' and 3' noncoding sequences, respectively. Our HCV strain has a 77% nucleic acid identity to the HCV strain cloned by workers at Chiron Corporation. The hydrophobicity profile of the putative polyprotein is similar to those of flaviviruses, but it has limited amino acid homology to polyproteins of flaviviruses and other viruses, indicating that HCV is at most distantly related to flaviviruses.

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