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Identification of a novel protein binding to hepatitis C virus core protein


Professor Min Liu, The First Affiliated Hospital, Medical School, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Yanta West Street, #277, Xi’an, Shaanxi Province 710061, China. Email:


Background:  Hepatitis C virus (HCV) core protein is a multi-functional viral protein that interacts with several target proteins of both viral and cellular origin.

Aim and Methods:  To gain insight into the mechanism of action of HCV core protein, we used a yeast two-hybrid system to identify the core protein-interacting cellular targets.

Results:  A cDNA clone encoding an aspartoacylase was obtained, termed aspartoacylase 3 (ACY3). Interaction between ACY3 and HCV core protein was verified using a co-immunoprecipitation assay in vitro, and a mammalian two-hybrid system in vivo. Fluorescence microscopy showed green fluorescence protein-fused ACY3 localized in the cytoplasm.

Conclusion:  Our data suggest that ACY3 is an HCV core binding protein, which may play a role in the development of HCV-associated diseases.