[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Interferon (IFN) response rate in hepatitis C virus (HCV) patients has been varied with genotypes. In this study, we investigated the effects of HCV NS5A protein on IFN resistance and compared the genotypic differences of NS5A. We showed that IFN-α-, poly I:C-, and Sendai virus-induced ISRE transcriptional activities were inhibited by both genotype 1b and 2a NS5A protein. We demonstrated that not only genotype 1b but also genotype 2a NS5A exerted the similar extent of IFN-α-induced antiviral activity. We showed that NS5A derived from both genotype 1b and 2a showed no significant differential IFN responses as seen in HCV patients. These data imply that some other host factor may be involved in genotypic differences of IFN antagonism in HCV patients.