HCV is a 9.6 kb positive single-stranded RNA genome that belongs to the family Flaviviridae, genus Hepacivirus. Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is considered a major Public Health problem, with an estimate of 200 million people infected worldwide. HCV infection is the major cause of chronic liver disease, with severe outcomes liver including cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma and is the main cause of liver transplantation.
|NS3||NS3/4A is a complex, bifunctional molecule that is essential for NS protein processing and viral RNA replication. The viral NS3 gene encodes a serine protease located in the N-terminal domain (amino acids NS3 1-181) and an NTPase/RNA helicase in the C-terminal part (amino acids NS3 182-623). The chymotrypsin-like protease requires a cofactor, the NS4A protein, and is responsible for critical steps in the virus lifecycle: (1) the cleavage of the viral polyprotein in the NS3-NS4A, NS4A-NS4B, NS4B-NS5A and NS5ANS5B junctions and (2) the modification of the cellular response, interfering with the interferon pathway. Thus, blocking NS3/4A protease activity may inhibit both processing of the viral polyprotein and viral down-regulation of the innate immune response.|
|NS5A||The HCV NS5A genomic region encodes a serine phosphoprotein of 448 amino acids which seems to have a role in transcriptional activation and participates in enhancing viral replication.|
|NS5B||The HCV NS5B genomic region encodes a 66 kDa protein composed of 591 amino acids: an RNA-dependent RNA polymerase, which is essential for viral replication.|