1887

Abstract

It has been well established that immunological escape mutations within the hepatitis C virus genotype (gt) 1a non-structural (NS) 3/4A protease are partly prevented by a reduction in viral protease fitness. Surprisingly little is known about whether similar mutations affect proteases from other genotypes. In the present study, we assessed both the HLA-A2-restricted CTL response and gt3a NS3/4A protease fitness. Similar to gt1, the 1073–1081 epitope was immunodominant within the gt3a-specific HLA-A2-restricted CTL response, despite sequence similarity of only 56 % between the gt1a and gt3a genes. However, unlike the gt1a NS3/4A protease, all residues within the gt3a 1073–1081 epitope could be replaced sequentially by alanine while retaining protease activity, at least in part.

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2012-08-01
2019-10-19
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