NS4, a nonstructural protein of HCV, is a frequent target of antibodies in infected subjects. According to recent data, the antibodies frequently recognize the sequence 1921-40 of the NS4 protein. The aim of this work was to analyze antibody reactivity with the sequence 1921-40 in different HCV-related disorders. Although this sequence is located in a relatively invariant region of viral genome, two strain-specific sequences are described. Thus, three NS4 1921-1940 peptides were synthesized: the BK shared by most viral strains, the J6 (strain 2a), and the J8 (strain 2b). The peptides were used as antigens in the solid phase for measuring serum IgG antibodies in an ELISA assay. Antibodies reactive with the 1921-40 BK peptide were detected in 64% of sera from patients with autoimmune hepatitis (AIH), 51% from chronic hepatitis C (CHC), and 22% from mixed cryoglobulinemia (MC). The frequency of positive sera in MC was significatively lower than in AIH (P < 0.0001) or CHC (P < 0.0021). Similar results were obtained with the J6 and J8 peptides. All sera that did not react with the BK peptide were negative on J6 and J8 and conversely most sera reacting with the BK peptide also bound the J6 and the J8 peptides. No correlation was found between the genotype of the infecting virus and the presence of antibodies to any of the NS4 peptides. These results indicate that many HCV-infected subjects produce antibodies to the NS4 sequence 1921-40. The immune response to this sequence is not strain specific and varies with the different disorders associated with HCV infection.
|Autori:||Longombardo G; Ferri C; Marchi S; Costa F; Lombardini F; Vacri L; Bombardieri S; Migliorini P|
|Titolo:||Immune response to an epitope of the NS4 protein of hepatitis C virus in HCV-related disorders|
|Anno del prodotto:||1998|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|