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The Hepatitis C Virus Nonstructural Protein 2 (NS2): An Up-and-Coming Antiviral Drug Target

by Ivo C. Lorenz
Laboratory of Virology and Infectious Disease, Center for the Study of Hepatitis C, The Rockefeller University, 1230 York Avenue, New York, NY 10065, USA
Present address: International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), AIDS Vaccine Design & Development Laboratory, Brooklyn Army Terminal, Building A Suite 8J, 140 58th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11220, USA
Viruses 2010, 2(8), 1635-1646; https://doi.org/10.3390/v2081635
Received: 30 June 2010 / Revised: 3 August 2010 / Accepted: 4 August 2010 / Published: 6 August 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antivirals Against Hepatitis C Virus)
Infection with Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) continues to be a major global health problem. To overcome the limitations of current therapies using interferon-a in combination with ribavirin, there is a need to develop drugs that specifically block viral proteins. Highly efficient protease and polymerase inhibitors are currently undergoing clinical testing and will become available in the next few years. However, with resistance mutations emerging quickly, additional enzymatic activities or functions of HCV have to be targeted by novel compounds. One candidate molecule is the nonstructural protein 2 (NS2), which contains a proteolytic activity that is essential for viral RNA replication. In addition, NS2 is crucial for the assembly of progeny virions and modulates various cellular processes that interfere with viral replication. This review describes the functions of NS2 in the life cycle of HCV and highlights potential antiviral strategies involving NS2. View Full-Text
Keywords: nonstructural protein; dimer; protease; assembly; antiviral therapy nonstructural protein; dimer; protease; assembly; antiviral therapy
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Lorenz, I.C. The Hepatitis C Virus Nonstructural Protein 2 (NS2): An Up-and-Coming Antiviral Drug Target. Viruses 2010, 2, 1635-1646.

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