An interaction between the protein kinase (PKR)-eIF2-alpha phosphorylation homology domain (PePHD) within the E2 protein of hepatitis C virus (HCV) and cell protein kinase (PKR) may affect the control of protein synthesis and cell growth. In an attempt to investigate the genetic variability of the E2-PePHD domain in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). we studied sera and liver tissues from HCC patients. The partial E2-PePHD region was analysed by direct sequencing of the sera of 47 HCCs in cirrhotic livers and 31 cases of chronic active hepatitis (CAH), and tumoral and non-tumoral liver tissues from 13 HCC patients. A similar number of mutations was detected within the E2 domain in the HCC and CAH cases, but nine of the 47 HCCs (19%) showed an amino acid (aa) mutation at position 660. eight of which involved a change in the same aa (alanine instead of serine: A/S). No such mutation was detected in any of the PePHD sequences from the CAH patients: this difference was statistically significant (P = 0.008). The aa change at position 660 was also found in two sequences from tumoral but not non-tumoral tissue from the same liver. The analysis of 461 sequences obtained from GenBank supports the conclusion that the observed aa change is an infrequent event in HCV-infected patients, thus suggesting that it could be associated with HCC.
- Chronic active hepatitis
- Hepatitis C virus
- Hepatocellular carcinoma
- Interferon-inducible protein kinase
ASJC Scopus subject areas