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Virus Res. 2015 Aug 3;206:90-8. doi: 10.1016/j.virusres.2014.12.029. Epub 2015 Jan 7.

cis-Acting RNA elements in the hepatitis C virus RNA genome.

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Department of Microbiology & Immunology, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada.
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, United States. Electronic address:


Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a rapidly increasing global health problem with an estimated 170 million people infected worldwide. HCV is a hepatotropic, positive-sense RNA virus of the family Flaviviridae. As a positive-sense RNA virus, the HCV genome itself must serve as a template for translation, replication and packaging. The viral RNA must therefore be a dynamic structure that is able to readily accommodate structural changes to expose different regions of the genome to viral and cellular proteins to carry out the HCV life cycle. The ∼ 9600 nucleotide viral genome contains a single long open reading frame flanked by 5' and 3' non-coding regions that contain cis-acting RNA elements important for viral translation, replication and stability. Additional cis-acting RNA elements have also been identified in the coding sequences as well as in the 3' end of the negative-strand replicative intermediate. Herein, we provide an overview of the importance of these cis-acting RNA elements in the HCV life cycle.


Hepatitis C virus; Internal ribosome entry site; cis-Acting RNA element; miR-122

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