Genetic heterogeneity of the NS5A gene of hepatitis C virus and early response to interferon-alpha.
ABSTRACT The double-stranded RNA-activated protein kinase-binding domain (PKRbd) of the NS5A gene of hepatitis C virus (HCV) was studied by the cloning and sequencing method, in HCV-infected patients who had a primary resistance to treatment with interferon (IFN)-alpha (early nonresponders). Patients whose virus load decreased by >or=0.5 log (early responders) were similarly analyzed. In the 2 groups, the PKRbd evolved similarly over the first 24 h. Selection of resistant HCV variants is unlikely to explain primary resistance to IFN-alpha.
Article: Pegylated interferon and ribavirin promote early evolution of nonstructural 5A protein in individuals with hepatitis C who demonstrate a response to treatment.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) quasispecies diversity is more likely to affect early viral decline during treatment of hepatitis C than is having human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. We evaluated the influence of HCV therapy on changes in the nonstructural 5A (NS5A) protein. Fifteen patients with HCV genotype 1 infection with or without HIV infection were recruited for the present study, and the decrease in the HCV RNA level was measured at early time points. The evolution of HCV NS5A quasispecies within the first week was analyzed by comparing the clones observed at later times in the study with the baseline consensus sequence of individual patients. The response to therapy was defined as an early response (ER; ie, an HCV RNA level <615 IU/mL at week 4) or a slow response (SR; ie, a detectable HCV RNA level at week 4). HIV infection did not affect early viral kinetics. At baseline, lower diversity was seen in NS5A and in the amino and carboxyl termini of patients with an ER, compared with those with an SR. Rapid evolution of the NS5A genetic region occurred in patients with an ER (P = .01) but not in those with an SR (P = .73). The evolution was the result of an increase in the number of amino acid substitutions in the carboxyl region (P = .02) in patients with an ER. Selective pressure appears to result in more-marked changes in individuals with an ER than in those with an SR. The carboxyl terminus was subject to the most change and may be an important determinant of phenotypic resistance to interferon-based therapy.The Journal of Infectious Diseases 09/2009; 200(6):866-76. · 6.41 Impact Factor
Article: Convenient biological assay for polyethylene glycol-interferons in patients with hepatitis C.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The vesicular stomatitis virus cytopathic effect reduction assay is suitable to quantify polyethylene glycol-alpha interferon 2a (PEG-IFN-alpha 2a) and PEG-IFN-alpha 2b. Human serum and ribavirin did not interfere with the assay. This bioassay was successfully used for assaying PEG-IFN-alpha 2a and PEG-IFN-alpha 2b in serum samples from patients undergoing combination therapy.Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 10/2004; 48(9):3610-2. · 4.84 Impact Factor
Article: Evolution of hepatitis C virus NS5A region in breakthrough patients during pegylated interferon and ribavirin therapy*.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Investigating the evolution of the hepatitis C viral (HCV) genome in the small number of patients that experience viral breakthrough might shed light on the problem of resistance to interferon therapy. Within the HCV genome, sequence diversity of the viral nonstructural 5A protein-coding region (NS5A) has been linked to interferon responsiveness. We analysed the temporal sequence changes within NS5A in genotype 1a patients: 6 breakthrough (BT), 12 sustained virologic responders (SVR) and 12 non-responders (NR), all of whom had received full dose peg-interferon and ribavirin therapy. The entire NS5A region was amplified by reverse transcription (RT)-PCR followed by direct sequencing of serum samples from baseline and three on-treatment time points for each group. Comparing baseline sequences with week 12 and later time points, BT patients resembled SVR patients in having a higher number of amino acid substitutions at week 12 than NR patients; however, the number of amino acid substitutions in this group decreased at and after BT. Substitutions were focused in the V3 and flanking regions in BT patients but not in SVR patients. The high number of substitutions in NS5A in both BT and SVR groups suggests that selective pressure is associated with viral response to therapy. Our results provide evidence that amino acid substitutions within the NS5A coding region may reflect a host response that drives selective pressure for viral adaptation.Journal of Viral Hepatitis 08/2009; 17(3):208-16. · 4.09 Impact Factor