The role of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) p7 protein in the virus life cycle is not known. Previous in vitro data indicated that this 63-aa polypeptide is located in the endoplasmic reticulum and has two transmembrane domains (TMDs) connected by a cytoplasmic loop; the aminoand carboxyl-terminal tails are oriented toward the endoplasmic reticulum lumen. Furthermore, recent in vitro studies suggested that HCV p7 could function as a virus-encoded ion channel. It might therefore be a relevant target for future dru…
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