Hepatitis C virus quasispecies in cancerous and noncancerous hepatic lesions: The core protein-encoding region

Shahjalal S. Alam, Takashi Nakamura, Atsushi Naganuma, Akito Nozaki, Kazuhiro Nouso, Hiroyuki Shimomura, Nobuyuki Kato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


We have shown that highly proofreading DNA polymerase is required for the polymerase chain reaction in the genetic analysis of hepatitis C virus (HCV). To clarify the status of HCV quasispecies in hepatic tissue using proofreading DNA polymerase, we performed a genetic analysis of the HCV core protein-encoding region in cancerous and noncancerous lesions derived from 4 patients with hepatocellular carcinoma. In contrast to the previously published data, we observed neither deletions nor stop codons in the analyzed region and no significant difference in the complexity of HCV quasispecies between cancerous and noncancerous lesions. This result suggests that the HCV core gene is never structurally defective in hepatic tissues, including cancerous lesions. However, in 3 of the patients, the consensus HCV species differed between cancerous and noncancerous lesions, suggesting that the predominant replicating HCV species differs between these 2 types of lesions. Moreover, during the course of the study, we obtained several interesting variants possessing a substitution at codon 9 of the core gene, whose substitution has been shown to induce the production of the F protein synthesized by a -2/ +1 ribosomal frameshift.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-147
Number of pages7
JournalActa medica Okayama
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Core gene
  • Hepatitis C virus
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Proofreading DNA polymerase
  • Quasispecies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology


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