New and Hot: Findings from 2007-08


  1. Laboratory Assembly of Hepatitis Delta Virus (2007)
    Gudima et al efficiently assembled hepatitis delta virus (HDV) in vitro using Huh7 cells cotransfected with two plasmids to provide expression for HBV envelope proteins and to help initiate replication of the HDV RNA genome. Researchers demonstrated the ability of assembled HDV to infect primary human hepatocytes. HDV assembly and infection in the laboratory may be used to better understand the mechanisms of entry and attachment into host cells of both HDV and HBV.
    | Citation: Gudima, S. et al. Assembly of Hepatitis Delta Virus: Particle Characterization, Including the Ability To Infect Primary Human Hepatocytes. Journal of Virology. 81, 3608-3617 (2007).
  1. Novel Structural Rearrangement of HDV Ribozyme (2007)
    A novel Watson-Crick basepairing between C19-G80 of Hepatitis Delta virus antigenomic ribozyme has been proposed by Nedhi et al. Previous researchers demonstrated a C19-G81 basepair formation in the ribozymes, but recent analysis has shown that C19 switches from G81 to G80. The secondary structure of the HDV antigenomic ribozyme has been redrawn.
    | Citation: Nedhi, A., et al. A novel structural rearrangement of hepatitis delta virus antigenomic ribozyme. Nucleic Acids Research. 35, 6820-6831 (2007).

  2. Characterization of HDAg Nuclear Localization Signal (2008)
    The delta antigen (HDAg), encoded by Hepatitis D virus, contains a RNA binding domain, dimerization domain, and nuclear localization signal (NLS). Alves et al discovered that the glutamic acid residue at position 66 and arginine residue at position 75 of HDAg NLS are necessary for promoting nuclear import.
    | Citation: Alves, A., Freitas, N., and Cunha, C. Characterization of the nuclear localization signal of the hepatitis delta antigen. Virology. 370, 12-21 (2008).

  3. Phase II PEGASYS with Ribavirin Trial – Roche (2008)
    Ongoing clinical trials to test safety and efficacy of PEGASYS (peginterferon 2a (40KD)) with or without ribavirin in patients with chronic hepatitis D (HDV). This trial is sponsored by Roche Pharmaceuticals and data from the study has yet to be published.
    | Citation: "Clinical Trial Results, Hepatitis D, Chronic." Roche Pharmaceuticals. 15 Feb. 2005. Roche Pharmaceuticals. <>.

  4. Phase III PEGASYS Trial – Roche (2008)
    Ongoing trials for PEGASYS (peginterferon alfa 2a (40KD)) in patients with chronic hepatitis D (HDV) are being held by Roche Pharmaceuticals.
    | Citation: "Clinical Trial Results, Hepatitis D, Chronic." Roche Pharmaceuticals. 15 Feb. 2005. Roche Pharmaceuticals. <>.