|Budget Amount *help
¥2,100,000 (Direct Cost : ¥2,100,000)
Fiscal Year 1994 : ¥900,000 (Direct Cost : ¥900,000)
Fiscal Year 1993 : ¥1,200,000 (Direct Cost : ¥1,200,000)
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is an important causative agent for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in Western countries and Japan. On the other hand, the inshore area of the Yangtze River is known to have one of the highest incidences of HCC in China. Therefore, to obtain information on the association between HCC and the genomic characteristics of HCV isolates present in this region, we investigated the prevalence and the genomic heterogeneity of HCV in patients with chronic liver disease and HCC in this region. Most of such patients were infected by hepatitis B virus (HBV), but the incidence of anti-HCV and HCV-RNA were very low, observed with 0.7% in donor bloods, and 11.6% in patients with chronic liver diseases. Moreover, our results reveraled a high prevalence of genotype II,a genotype II,a similarity of Chinese and Japanses HCV isolates, and a tendency for more nucleotide (nt) substitutions in the HCV core gene in HCC patients than in those substitutions in the HCV core gene in HCC patients than in those with chronic hepatitis. In addition, nt substitutions were unevenly scattered along the genome with a cluster of missense mutations and transversions in the second hydrophilic domain from the 5'end of the core region. The rates of the occurrence of missense mutations and transversions were greater in the clustering variable region (CVR) than in the other core region. These findings suggested that the mutations occurring in this CVR may be responsible for a selective pressure from the host immune system, and closely related with progress of liver disease to HCC.