Expression of HCV genes by alphavirus replicon vectors – implications for HCV vaccine design

Poster number: 14

Ekaterina Alekseeva, Irina Sominskaya, Ruta Bruvere, Juris Jansons, Tatyana Kozlovskaya

  1. Biomedical Research and Study Centre, University of Latvia, 1 Ratsupites Str., Riga, Latvia

Hepatitis C virus presently infects approximately 400 million people worldwide making the development of protective measures against HCV infection a key objective. Here we have generated a recombinant Semliki Forest Virus (SFV/HCVpolyP), which expresses the HCV structural proteins, by inserting the contiquous core, E1, E2 and p7 coding region of HCV into the SFV genome. Recombinant SFV/HCVpolyP efficiently expressed the incorporated HCV gene product, which became fully processed into the individual HCV structural proteins. Analysis of proteins let us hope that the HCV core, E1 and E2 proteins assembled to form HCV-like particles. This vector can also be used for in vivo applications (the investigation of viral morphogenesis, virus-host cell interactions), such as in the development of recombinant viral vaccines.