Molecular characterization of a full genome Turkish hepatitis C virus 1b isolate (HCV-TR1): a predominant viral form in Turkey.

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Yildiz E., Oztan A., Sar F., Pinarbasi E. , Cetin-Atalay R., Akkiz H., ...More

Virus genes, vol.25, no.2, pp.169-77, 2002 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 25 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2002
  • Doi Number: 10.1023/a:1020161818764
  • Title of Journal : Virus genes
  • Page Numbers: pp.169-77


Based on direct sequencing information from 5'UTR and NS5B regions, we identified subtype 1b as a predominant hepatitis C virus genome in Turkey, which affected more than 91% of 79 patients studied. Next, the full genome sequence of a Turkish 1b isolate was obtained by the cloning of polypeptide-encoding region into 7 overlapping fragments. Turkish 1b isolate, which was named HCV-TR1, comprises 9361 nucleotides, including 306 nucleotides of 5'UTR, a single long open reading frame of 9033 nucleotides, and 22 nucleotides of 3'UTR. When compared to HCV 1b polypeptide sequences available at GenBank, the predicted polypeptide displayed a total of 36 amino acid substitutions, of which 16 was specific for HCV-TR1 isolate. Despite these changes, major structural and functional motifs of HCV proteins were maintained in HCV-TR1. In contrast, HCV-TR1 displayed amino acid substitutions in 6 out of 9 major cytotoxic T-cell epitopes. These data suggest that HCV-TR1 encodes functionally intact viral proteins, but it also encodes altered viral epitopes, which may affect host immune-response.