Characterization of Gene Expression During Hepatitis C Virus Replication
The hepatitis C virus (HCV) is an enveloped (+)-stranded RNA virus, which cannot be synthetically grown. Its genome consists of eleven regions,two of which are untranslated, and codes for nine different proteins. The final protein of the genome is the NS5B protein-an RNA polymerase. NS5B protein plays a major role in the replication of HCV. In order to characterize the gene, an expression system for the NS5B protein was developed. A start codon was inserted to allow for expression. In addition, to case purification, a final histidine tag was added to the gene to allow for purification via coordinate bonding to nickel plated agarose. The resulting purified protein was about 60 kDa in length. The protein will be used to further characterize inhibition of the HCV genome.