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Virol J. 2011 Jun 10;8:295. doi: 10.1186/1743-422X-8-295.

Effect of combined siRNA of HCV E2 gene and HCV receptors against HCV.

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Centre of Excellence in Molecular Biology, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan.



Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a major threat as almost 3% of the world's population (350 million individual) and 10% of the Pakistani population is chronically infected with this virus. RNA interference (RNAi), a sequence-specific degradation process of RNA, has potential to be used as a powerful alternative molecular therapeutic approach in spite of the current therapy of interferon-α and ribavirin against HCV which has limited efficiency. HCV structural gene E2 is mainly involved in viral cell entry via attachment with the host cell surface receptors i.e., CD81 tetraspanin, low density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR), scavenger receptor class B type 1 (SR-B1), and Claudin1 (CLDN1). Considering the importance of HCV E2 gene and cellular receptors in virus infection and silencing effects of RNAi, the current study was designed to target the cellular and viral factors as new therapeutic options in limiting HCV infection.


In this study the potential of siRNAs to inhibit HCV-3a replication in serum-infected Huh-7 cells was investigated by combined treatment of siRNAs against the HCV E2 gene and HCV cellular receptors (CD81 and LDLR), which resulted in a significant decrease in HCV viral copy number.


From the current study it is concluded that the combined RNAi-mediated silencing of HCV E2 and HCV receptors is important for the development of effective siRNA-based therapeutic option against HCV-3a.

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