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Identification of Adaptive Mutations That Increase Infectivity of Hepatitis C Virus JFH1 Strain in Cell Culture

Posted Jun 15 2010 5:00pm

Description of Invention:
The technology offered for licensing is in the field of hepatitis C. More specifically the invention discloses an efficient way to grow the virus, a way that may facilitate advanced research in the field of hepatitis C (HCV) and its pathogenesis, as well as provide for convenient and effective ways to screen for new hepatitis C drugs. It also lends itself to the development of vaccines against hepatitis C.

The invention is based on the finding that certain mutations in the JFH1 strain of HCV, as well as certain chimera of the mutated strain, can lead to an increase in production of infectious virus particles in cell cultures (i.e. Huh-7.5) between 100- to 1000-fold as compared to the wild type virus. Such mutations are introduced to a viral RNA that codes for hepatitis C and the latter is introduced to an appropriate cell to produce a high yield of highly infective virus.

Progress in research in the field of HCV, as well as the development of drugs and vaccines to combat hepatitis C infections, have been hampered for years due to the lack of robust in vivo cell culture systems for the study of this virus. Several breakthroughs in the area that occurred in 2005 and thereafter (i.e. the isolation of HCV genotype 2a sequence (JFH1) and the generation of the unique cell line Huh-7.5) contributed significantly to progress in the field, but further optimization and improvements in the culture system have still been needed. The subject invention offers such improvements and thus may lead to enhanced progress in HCV research and in the development of the much needed drugs and vaccines against the virus.

  • Research in the field of HCV and its pathogenesis
  • Screening and discovery of drugs that inhibit HCV infections
  • Development of vaccines for HCV

100- to 1000-fold more efficient method to grow virus particles

Development Status:
The invention is fully developed and requires no additional work.

Rodney Russell (NIAID)
Jens Bukh (NIAID)
Robert H Purcell (NIAID)
Suzanne U Emerson (NIAID)

Relevant Publication:
  1. RS Russell, JC Meunier, S Takikawa, K Faulk, RE Engle, J Bukh, RH Purcell, SU Emerson. Advantages of a single-cycle production assay to study cell culture-adaptive mutations of hepatitis C virus. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2008 Mar 18;105(11):4370-4375. [ PubMed abs ]

Licensing Status:
Available for licensing.

Infectious Diseases
Infectious Diseases - Vaccines
In-vitro Data

For Additional Information Please Contact:
Kevin Chang Ph.D.
NIH Office of Technology Transfer
6011 Executive Blvd. Suite 325,
Rockville, MD 20852
United States
Phone: 301-435-5018
Fax: 301-402-0220

Ref No: 1912

Updated: 06/2010

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