Written Paper

Development of Trans-Splicing Aptazyme Which Can Specifically Modify Hepatitis C Virus Genome  [2008]

Kim, J.H. (Dankook University, Yongin, Republic of Korea) Jang, S.Y. (Dankook University, Yongin, Republic of Korea) Lee, C.H. (Dankook University, Yongin, Republic of Korea) Lee, S.W. (Dankook University, Yongin, Republic of Korea), E-mail: SWL0208@dankook.ac.kr

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For the development of specific and effective basic genetic materials to inhibit replication of hepatitis C virus (HCV), HCV genome-targeting trans-splicing aptazyme, which activity is allosterically regulated by a specific ligand, was developed. The aptazyme was designed to be comprised of sequence of RNA aptamer to the ligand, communication module sequence which can transfer structural transition for inducing ribozyme activity upon binding the ligand to the aptamer, and trans-splicing ribozyme targeting +199 nt of HCV IRES. Especially, when the aptamer and the communication module was inserted at both P6 and P8 catalytic domain of the specific ribozyme, allosteric activity of the aptazyme was the most induced. The aptazyme was shown to induce activity of trans-splicing reaction specifically and efficiently only in the presence of the specific ligand, but neither in the absence of any ligand nor in the presence of control ligand. This aptazyme can be used as a specific and effective genetic agent against HCV, and a tool for the isolation of anti-HCV lead compounds.