A therapeutically useful mouse model of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is one step closer with the discovery of a key protein needed for mouse cell infection.
The human occludin protein needs to be present for HCV to enter mouse cells, Charles Rice and colleagues report in this week's Nature. This makes it the fourth and final essential component of the HCV cell-entry receptor.
HCV is a leading cause of liver disease worldwide, but therapeutic design and vaccine development have been hampered by the lack of a suitable small animal model - until now, mouse cells could not be infected with HCV.
Charles Rice (The Rockefeller University, New York, NY, USA)
Abstract available online.
(C) Nature press release.
Message posted by: Trevor M. D'Souza