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Expression and Characterization of the Hepatitis G Virus Helicase

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Expression and Characterization of the Hepatitis G Virus Helicase

C D Laxton et al. J Viral Hepat.

Abstract

The hepatitis G virus (HGV) is a new member of the Flaviviridae family and has a genomic organization similar to that of hepatitis C virus (HCV). Protein sequence motifs are present suggesting that HGV encodes a serine proteinase, an RNA-dependent RNA polymerase and a helicase. We have cloned and expressed the putative helicase of HGV and have shown that it contains a poly (U)-stimulated NTPase activity and is able to function as a DNA helicase. Preliminary characterization of the HGV helicase activity reveals similarities with other members of the Flaviviridae, but especially with HCV, raising the possibility that HGV could be used as a surrogate virus for the development of therapies against HCV.

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