Heterogeneity in E2 region of GBV-C/hepatitis G virus and hepatitis C virus

Takanobu Kato, Masashi Mizokami, Tatsunori Nakano, Etsuro Orito, Ken Ichi Ohba, Yutaka Kondo, Yasuhito Tanaka, Ryuzo Ueda, Motokazu Mukaide, Kaoru Fujita, Kiyomi Yasuda, Shiro Iino

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23 Citations (Scopus)


GB virus C/hepatitis G virus (GBV-C/HGV) is related distantly to hepatitis C virus (HCV). HCV has a hypervariable region (HVR), and exists as quasispecies in vivo. Although GBV-C/HGV also has replaceable amino acids in the presumed antigenic region, the existence and fluctuation of population of heterogeneous virus have not been evaluated. In this study, the heterogeneity of GBV-C/HGV and HCV was investigated by the single-strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) analysis in six concomitantly infected patients, Two patients were observed for 4 years without any treatment, and four were treated with interferon-α (IFN). By SSCP analysis, amplicons of GBV-C/HGV RNA were separated into 1-5 bands on gels for each patient. The amplicons had different nucleotide but the same amino acid sequences in the presumed antigenic region. The amplicons of HCV RNA, separated into 1-4 bands, had different nucleotide and amino acid sequences in the HVR. In the two patients without treatment, the predominant strain of GBV-C/HGV was unchanged for the 4 years. In the four patients administered IFN, some strains of GBV-C/HGV disappeared after IFN therapy, whereas other strains persisted. The mean genetic distance among GBV-C/HGV strains represented by SSCP analysis was significantly lower than that of HCV (P < 0.05). The data indicate that: 1) GBV-C/HGV can be devoid of antigenic drift unlike HCV; 2) GBV-C/HGV has no HVR as seen in HCV in the presumed antigenic region; and 3) the sensitivity to IFN differs among GBV-C/HGV strains in the same hosts, as with HCV.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-117
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Medical Virology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 06-1998
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases


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