Indexed on: 12 Apr '13Published on: 12 Apr '13Published in: Theoretical Biology and Medical Modelling
HCV affects>170 million people worldwide and is a leading cause of liver diseases such as hepatocellular carcinoma. Each year, Pakistan reports hundreds of cases and now it has become a serious health issue. HCV has two transmembrane glycoproteins (E1 and E2) that are involved in virus entry through viral attachment, but because of their hypervariable nature they have become difficult targets for vaccine development.A total of 150 protein sequences of E1 and E2 belonging to genotypes 3a and 1a were retrieved from the NCBI protein database and were subjected to conservation and variation analysis using the multiple sequence alignment feature of the CLC workbench. A consensus sequence of each genotype of E1 and E2 was obtained and these consensus sequences were further analyzed to construct a global consensus sequence, which was used to design potentially conserved peptides.From the sequence conservation analysis, highly conserved residues were identified and were used to design peptides. Only two peptides were found to be conserved in the E1 protein of genotypes 3a and 1a and a total of nine conserved peptides were designed for the HCV E2 protein of those genotypes. These designed peptides could serve as useful targets in developing new inhibitory compounds.This study was designed to perform conservation and variability analysis of HCV glycoproteins and to find potentially conserved peptides among genotypes 3a and 1a (the most prevalent genotypes in Pakistan) that could serve as useful targets in the development of novel inhibitory compounds, thus reducing the threat of HCV infection in Pakistan.