We previously showed that two proteins with molecular weights of 56 and 58 kDa are produced from nonstructural protein 5A (NS5A) derived from hepatitis C virus (HCV)-lb genotype. The 56-kDa protein is phosphorylated at serine residues in NS5A, including those located in the C-terminal region of NS5A, while the 58-kDa protein, the hyperphosphorylated form of the 56-kDa protein, is phosphorylated at serine residues in the central region. This hyperphosphorylation is dependent on the presence of HCV NS4A protein. To clarify whether NS4A-dependent phosphorylation also occurs in other HCV genotypes, phosphorylation of NS5A was analyzed by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis. Here, we report that NS5A from the HCV-2a genotype was phosphorylated. However, hyperphosphorylation of NS5A occurs in the HCV-lb genotype but not in the -2a genotype. This result suggests that modification of NS5A phosphorylation reflects the virological features of HCV and that there are physiological differences in the roles of differently phosphorylated NS5A between HCV genotypes.
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