HCVIVdb is a database of published variations observed within the internal ribosome entry site (IRES) of the hepatitis C Virus.
It is estimated that 180 million people, or ~3% of the world's population, are living with chronic hepatitis C. About 3.5 million people are infected per year with more than 350,000 people dying annually from hepatitis C-related diseases.
Hepatitis C is a virus which is able to hijack the human protein translation machinery and produce its own proteins via an Internal Ribosome Entry Site or IRES. HCVIVdb was developed to better understand the relationship between IRES mutations and the corresponding changes in IRES structure and function.
If you use this database for your research please cite:
HCVIVdb: The hepatitis-C IRES variation database. Floden EW, Khawaja A, Vopálenský V, Pospíšek M. BMC Microbiology (2016) Aug 15;16(1):187
The hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a small, enveloped, single-stranded, positive-sense RNA virus.
Hepatitis C can result in inflammation and significant damage to the liver. It can also affect the liver’s ability to perform its essential functions. Although it has always been regarded as a liver disease - ‘hepatitis’ means ‘inflammation of the liver’ - recent research has shown that the hepatitis C virus (HCV) affects a number of other areas of the body. These can include the digestive system, the lymphatic system, the immune system and the brain.
Currently no vaccine protects against contracting hepatitis C, however, a number of new treatments that are able to clear the virus from the body with reduced side effects are becoming available. The economic costs of hepatitis C are significant both to the individual and to society. In the United States the average lifetime cost of the disease was estimated at $33,407 USD with the cost of a liver transplant being approximately $200,000 USD.
Translation of hepatitis C virus mRNA is initiated by a different mechanism from the usual 5' cap-binding model.
The HCV IRES binds independently two components of eukaryotic translation initiation machinery, protein eIF3 and 40S small ribosome subunit. Moreover, it binds 40S in such a manner that AUG initiator codon is positioned in ribosomal P-site, thus no ribosomal scanning is required.
By compiling a comprehensive database comprising of over 1,500 IRES mutations from the literature we have been able to categorize this information. Where available we have included frequency, structural and functional behaviour, experimental parameters as well as including clinical data.
HCVIVdb was developed at the RNA Laboratory in the Department of Genetics and Microbiology, Charles University.
Charles University is situated in Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic.
At the RNA Laboratory our research is focused on a range of areas including control of translation initiation, stability and turnover of mRNA in eukaryote cells, the Hepatitis C virus and Interleukin-1alpha.
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