The novel cell line, described in the July 16 issue of PLoS ONE, will allow pharmaceutical companies to effectively test new drug candidates or possible vaccines for the HCV infection, which afflicts about 170 million people worldwide. Currently, there is no animal model that is effective for testing such therapies.
Assistant Professor of Medicine Martina Buck, Ph.D., researcher at UC San Diego's Department of Medicine and Moores UCSD Cancer Center developed the novel culture system, which mimics the biology of HCV infection in humans.
"This is the first efficient and consistent model system for HCV to be developed," said Buck, adding that it will now enable researchers not only to conduct mechanistic experiments in culture, such as blocking the virus pathways, but also to more effectively screen possible therapies for HCV. "There is a need for new treatments, and for development of a possible vaccine for HCV. Now we have a model system to support work by investigators in this area."
Currently, there is only a single treatment for HCV, PEG- interferon-á. The drug combination has an average response rate of about 50 percent in HCV cases, but it is much lower than that, closer to 20 percent, in individuals with liver cirrhosis. It can also cause severe flu-like side effects. Approximately 10,000 deaths due to cirrhosis of the liver and several thousand more from liver cancer are attributed to HCV infection in the United States each year.
The HCV life cycle is only partially understood because, until now, it has not been possible to efficiently infect normal human hepatocytes, or liver cells, in culture. According to Buck, the valuable Huh-7 system currently in use to test HCV uses cloned, synthetic HCV RNA expressed from liver tumor cells. These cells cannot be infected with naturally occurring HCV obtained from infected patients.
In contrast, the culture developed by the UCSD scientists allows direct infection with HCV genotypes 1, 2, 3 and 4 from the blood of HCV-infected patients. This system will enable researchers to study the complete viral lifecycle in its normal host cell, providing novel scientific opportunities. The study reports that the system has been tested using over 30 virus donors as well as multiple donors of hepatocytes, with the production of infectious HCV for all genotypes tested.
Debra Kain | EurekAlert!
NIH scientists describe potential antibody treatment for multidrug-resistant K. pneumoniae
14.03.2018 | NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Researchers identify key step in viral replication
13.03.2018 | University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.
Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...
Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.
They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...
A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...
For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.
In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...
Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...
19.03.2018 | Event News
16.03.2018 | Event News
13.03.2018 | Event News
21.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
21.03.2018 | Materials Sciences
21.03.2018 | Life Sciences