Slow evolutionary rate of GB virus C/hepatitis G virus

Yoshiyuki Suzuki, Kazuhiko Katayama, Shuetsu Fukushi, Tsutomu Kageyama, Akira Oya, Hirofumi Okamura, Yasuhito Tanaka, Masashi Mizokami, Takashi Gojobori*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


With the aim of elucidating evolutionary features of GB virus C/hepatitis G virus (GBV-C/HGV), molecular evolutionary analyses were conducted using the entire coding region of this virus. In particular, the rate of nucleotide substitution for this virus was estimated to be less than 9.0 x 10-6 per site per year, which was much slower than those for other RNA viruses. The phylogenetic tree reconstructed for GBV-C/HGV, by using GB virus A (GBV-A) as outgroup, indicated that there were three major clusters (the HG, GB, and Asian types) in GBV-C/HGV, and the divergence between the ancestor of GB- and Asian-type strains and that of HG-type strains first took place more than 7000-10,000 years ago. The slow evolutionary rate for GBV- C/HGV suggested that this virus cannot escape from the immune response of the host by means of producing escape mutants, implying that it may have evolved other systems for persistent infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)383-389
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Molecular Evolution
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Divergence time
  • GBV-A
  • Phylogenetic tree
  • Substitution rate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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