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Many aspects of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) life cycle have not been reproduced in cell culture, which has slowed research progress on this important human pathogen. Here, we describe a full-length HCV genome that replicates and produces virus particles that are infectious in cell culture (HCVcc). Replication of HCVcc was robust, producing nearly 10 5 infectious units per milliliter within 48 hours. Virus particles were filterable and neutralized with a monoclonal antibody against the viral glycoprotein E2. Viral entry was dependent on cellular expression of a putative HCV receptor, CD81. HCVcc replication was inhibited by interferon-α and by several HCV-specific antiviral compounds, suggesting that this in vitro system will aid in the search for improved antivirals.

Original publication

DOI

10.1126/science.1114016

Type

Journal article

Journal

Science

Publisher

American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

Publication Date

22/07/2005

Volume

309

Pages

623 - 626