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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1993 Apr 30;192(2):399-406.

The hepatitis C virus encodes a serine protease involved in processing of the putative nonstructural proteins from the viral polyprotein precursor.

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Chiron Corporation, Emeryville, CA 94508.


The hepatitis C virus (HCV) nonstructural protein 3 (NS3) domain has been predicted from sequence comparisons to represent a trypsin-like serine protease. By expressing wild-type and mutant HCV-1 cDNAs in transfected mammalian cells, we have identified putative nonstructural proteins 3 (72 kDa), 4 (10 kDa and 27 kDa) and 5 (58 kDa) and have shown that their processing from the viral polyprotein precursor is dependent on Ser1165 located in the proposed protease catalytic site. Data obtained from in vitro RNA translations indicate that unlike the processing of the NS2/NS3 junction, NS3/NS4 processing is dependent on Ser1165. In contrast to the situation for the related flaviviral NS3 proteases, the HCV NS3-mediated cleavage of the NS3/NS4 junction does not require the upstream NS2 domain and may not occur at dibasic sites.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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