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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)
MeSH Review

GB virus B

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Disease relevance of GB virus B

  • Human sera containing antibodies that recognize GBV-A and/or GBV-B recombinant proteins were subjected to polymerase chain reaction studies with degenerate oligonucleotides capable of amplifying a segment of the putative helicase genes from GBV-A, GBV-B or hepatitis C virus [1].
  • Functional analyses of GB virus B p13 protein: development of a recombinant GB virus B hepatitis virus with a p7 protein [2].
  • Amino acid sequence comparisons of the large polyprotein demonstrate that GBV-Alab is 74% identical to GBV-A and 48% identical to GBV-C, sharing only marginal identity with GBV-B and HCV-1 at 27% [3].
  • Phylogenetic analysis and polyprotein organization comparison have shown that GB virus-B (GBV-B) is closely related to hepatitis C virus (HCV) [4].

High impact information on GB virus B

  • In vitro studies suggest that GBV-B has an analogous but larger protein (p13) [2].
  • However, whereas GBV-B was eliminated from one animal by 20 weeks, the second animal remained viremic (103 to 107 genome equivalents per ml) for >2 years, with alanine transaminase levels becoming elevated again before spontaneous resolution of the infection [5].
  • Because an understanding of these events is critical to further development of model GBV-B systems, we characterized signal peptidase processing of the polyprotein segment containing the putative structural proteins [6].
  • However, little is known about processing of the GBV-B polyprotein [6].
  • Ribavirin induces error-prone replication of GB virus B in primary tamarin hepatocytes [7].

Chemical compound and disease context of GB virus B

  • However, several differences in RNA synthesis between the GBV-B and HCV RdRps were observed, including (i) optimal temperatures for activity, (ii) ranges of Mn(2+) concentration tolerated for activity, and (iii) cation requirements for de novo RNA synthesis and terminal transferase activity [8].
  • Nonstructural protein 3 (NS3) of GBV-B contains sequence motifs predictive of three enzymatic activities: serine protease, nucleoside triphosphatase (NTPase), and RNA helicase [9].

Anatomical context of GB virus B

  • Translation of the HCV polyprotein initiates via an internal ribosome entry site (IRES) and it is proposed that the GBV-B UTR may function in a similar manner [10].

Gene context of GB virus B

  • The availability of a recombinant GBV-B virus containing a p7 protein with similarities to the HCV p7 will enhance the relevance of this model and will be of importance for identifying compounds that inhibit p7 function as additional therapeutic agents [2].
  • This finding indicates that the 3' limit of the GBV-B IRES is at the initiator AUG and that it does not require downstream polyprotein-coding sequence as suggested for the HCV IRES [11].
  • Nucleoside triphosphatase and RNA helicase activities associated with GB virus B nonstructural protein 3 [9].


  1. Isolation of novel virus-like sequences associated with human hepatitis. Simons, J.N., Leary, T.P., Dawson, G.J., Pilot-Matias, T.J., Muerhoff, A.S., Schlauder, G.G., Desai, S.M., Mushahwar, I.K. Nat. Med. (1995) [Pubmed]
  2. Functional analyses of GB virus B p13 protein: development of a recombinant GB virus B hepatitis virus with a p7 protein. Takikawa, S., Engle, R.E., Emerson, S.U., Purcell, R.H., St Claire, M., Bukh, J. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (2006) [Pubmed]
  3. The sequence and genomic organization of a GB virus A variant isolated from captive tamarins. Leary, T.P., Desai, S.M., Erker, J.C., Mushahwar, I.K. J. Gen. Virol. (1997) [Pubmed]
  4. RNA-dependent RNA polymerase activity encoded by GB virus-B non-structural protein 5B. Zhong, W., Ingravallo, P., Wright-Minogue, J., Uss, A.S., Skelton, A., Ferrari, E., Lau, J.Y., Hong, Z. J. Viral Hepat. (2000) [Pubmed]
  5. Chronic hepatitis associated with GB virus B persistence in a tamarin after intrahepatic inoculation of synthetic viral RNA. Martin, A., Bodola, F., Sangar, D.V., Goettge, K., Popov, V., Rijnbrand, R., Lanford, R.E., Lemon, S.M. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (2003) [Pubmed]
  6. Characterization of GB virus B polyprotein processing reveals the existence of a novel 13-kDa protein with partial homology to hepatitis C virus p7 protein. Ghibaudo, D., Cohen, L., Penin, F., Martin, A. J. Biol. Chem. (2004) [Pubmed]
  7. Ribavirin induces error-prone replication of GB virus B in primary tamarin hepatocytes. Lanford, R.E., Chavez, D., Guerra, B., Lau, J.Y., Hong, Z., Brasky, K.M., Beames, B. J. Virol. (2001) [Pubmed]
  8. Enzymatic activities of the GB virus-B RNA-dependent RNA polymerase. Ranjith-Kumar, C.T., Santos, J.L., Gutshall, L.L., Johnston, V.K., Lin-Goerke, J., Kim, M.J., Porter, D.J., Maley, D., Greenwood, C., Earnshaw, D.L., Baker, A., Gu, B., Silverman, C., Sarisky, R.T., Kao, C. Virology (2003) [Pubmed]
  9. Nucleoside triphosphatase and RNA helicase activities associated with GB virus B nonstructural protein 3. Zhong, W., Ingravallo, P., Wright-Minogue, J., Skelton, A., Uss, A.S., Chase, R., Yao, N., Lau, J.Y., Hong, Z. Virology (1999) [Pubmed]
  10. The 5' untranslated region of GB virus B shows functional similarity to the internal ribosome entry site of hepatitis C virus. Grace, K., Gartland, M., Karayiannis, P., McGarvey, M.J., Clarke, B. J. Gen. Virol. (1999) [Pubmed]
  11. Mutational analysis of the GB virus B internal ribosome entry site. Rijnbrand, R., Abell, G., Lemon, S.M. J. Virol. (2000) [Pubmed]
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