Researchers at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, have identified a gene, which explains why certain patients with chronic hepatitis C do not experience relapse after treatment. The discovery may contribute to more effective treatment.
More than 100 million humans around the world are infected with hepatitis C virus. The infection gives rise to chronic liver inflammation, which may result in reduced liver function, liver cirrhosis and liver cancer. Even though anti-viral medications often efficiently eliminate the virus, the infection recurs in approximately one fifth of the patients.
Prevents incorporation in DNA
Martin Lagging and co-workers at the Sahlgrenska Academy have studied an enzyme called inosine trifosfatas (ITPase), which normally prevents the incorporation of defective building blocks into RNA and DNA.
Unexpectedly they found that the gene encoding for ITPase (ITPA) had significance for the treatment outcome in chronic hepatitis C virus infection.
Five times lower risk
Earlier studies had shown that approximately one third of all people carry variants of the ITPA gene that result in reduced ITPase activity. The research team at the Sahlgrenska Academy showed that patients with these gene variants exhibited a more than a five times lower risk of experiencing relapse after treatment.
Relapse a significant problem
The study encompassed over 300 patients and was carried out in cooperation with hepatitis researchers in several Nordic countries.
- Relapse after completed treatment is a significant problem in chronic hepatitis C, and the results may contribute to explaining why the infection recurs in many patients. Our hypothesis is that a low ITPase activity results in defective nucleotides being incorporated into the virus RNA, which makes the virus unstable, Martin Lagging said.
Important to other virus infections
According to Martin Lagging, the discovery may also have significance for other virus infections.
- A medication that interferes with the enzyme’s activity could have a broad antiviral effect, but this must be further investigated in future studies.
The article Variants of the inosine triphosphate pyrophosphatase gene are associated with reduced relapse risk following treatment for HCV genotype 2/3 was published online in the journal Hepatology on 13 January 2014.
Link to the article: http://bit.ly/1nc4ly0
Martin Lagging, researcher at The Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg
Krister Svahn | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Penn study stops vision loss in late-stage canine X-linked retinitis pigmentosa
13.10.2015 | University of Pennsylvania
Breast cancer drug beats superbug
13.10.2015 | University of California - San Diego
Physicists of TU Berlin and mathematicians of MATHEON are so successful that even the prestigious journal “Nature Communications” reported on their project.
Security in data transfer is an important issue, and not only since the NSA scandal. Sometimes, however, the need for speed conflicts to a certain degree with...
Having a light touch can make a hefty difference in how well animals and robots move across challenging granular surfaces such as snow, sand and leaf litter. Research reported October 9 in the journal Bioinspiration & Biomimetics shows how the design of appendages – whether legs or wheels – affects the ability of both robots and animals to cross weak and flowing surfaces.
Using an air fluidized bed trackway filled with poppy seeds or glass spheres, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology systematically varied the...
Nondestructive material testing (NDT) is a fast and effective way to analyze the quality of a product during the manufacturing process. Because defective materials can lead to malfunctioning finished products, NDT is an essential quality assurance measure, especially in the manufacture of safety-critical components such as automotive B-pillars. NDT examines the quality without damaging the component or modifying the surface of the material. At this year's Blechexpo trade fair in Stuttgart, Fraunhofer IZFP will have an exhibit that demonstrates the nondestructive testing of high-strength automotive body parts using 3MA. The measurement results are available in a matter of seconds.
To minimize vehicle weight and fuel consumption while providing the highest level of crash safety, automotive bodies are reinforced with elements made from...
The MICADO camera, a first light instrument for the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT), has entered a new phase in the project: by agreeing to a Memorandum of Understanding, the partners in Germany, France, the Netherlands, Austria, and Italy, have all confirmed their participation. Following this milestone, the project's transition into its preliminary design phase was approved at a kick-off meeting held in Vienna. Two weeks earlier, on September 18, the consortium and the European Southern Observatory (ESO), which is building the telescope, have signed the corresponding collaboration agreement.
As the first dedicated camera for the E-ELT, MICADO will equip the giant telescope with a capability for diffraction-limited imaging at near-infrared...
Self-driving cars will be on our streets in the foreseeable future. In Graz, research is currently dedicated to an innovative driver assistance system that takes over control if there is a danger of collision. It was nature that inspired Dr Manfred Hartbauer from the Institute of Zoology at the University of Graz: in dangerous traffic situations, migratory locusts react around ten times faster than humans. Working together with an interdisciplinary team, Hartbauer is investigating an affordable collision detector that is equipped with artificial locust eyes and can recognise potential crashes in time, during both day and night.
Inspired by insects
01.10.2015 | Event News
30.09.2015 | Event News
17.09.2015 | Event News
13.10.2015 | Trade Fair News
13.10.2015 | Physics and Astronomy
13.10.2015 | Health and Medicine