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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1997 Aug 18;237(2):288-91.

Plus- and minus-stranded hepatitis G virus RNA in liver tissue and in peripheral blood mononuclear cells.

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The Third Department of Internal Medicine, Yokohama City University School of Medicine, Yokohama, 236, Japan.


Hepatitis G virus (HGV), which was recently identified, is a single, plus-stranded RNA virus that is thought to replicate via minus-stranded RNA, but no information is available about the distribution of either plus- (genomic) or minus- (replicative) stranded HGV RNAs in HGV infected patients. We, therefore, tested the serum, liver tissue, and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of six hepatitis patients with HGV infection for the presence of plus- and minus-stranded HGV RNA. The RT-nested PCR was used with primers derived from 5'-noncoding region of the genome. Before RT-PCR analysis, the 3'-termini of RNA specimens were chemically modified to discriminate between plus- and minus-stranded HGV RNA. Plus-stranded HGV RNA was detected in the serum and liver tissue of all six patients and in the PBMCs of five patients. Minus-stranded RNA was detected in the liver tissue of all six patients, in the serum of two patients, and in the PBMCs of one patient. In summary, the detection of minus-stranded HGV RNA in liver tissue may indicate that HGV replicates in the liver.

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