HCV 3a Core gene shows higher induction of Cox-2, iNOS, VEGF and p-Akt compared to HCV 1a Core gene. (A) Comparison of gene expression of Cox-2, iNOS and VEGF in Huh-7 cells transiently transfected with HCV Core 1a (C1a), 3a (C3a) and pCR3.1 plasmid alone as mock (M) samples (0.4 μg DNA/well of each plasmid). After 48 hrs incubation, relative gene expression levels were determined. (B) Comparison of expression of Cox-2, iNOS, and VEGF genes expressed as relative fold induction in HCV 1a and 3a infected patient's blood samples verses normal. (C) Expression of Cox-2, iNOS and VEGF genes in HCV 3a genotype infected liver biopsies verses normal. (D) The protein expression levels were determined by Western blot analysis of Huh-7 cell lysates transfected with HCV Core vectors 1a, 3a and effect on Cox-2, VEGF, p-Akt and GAPDH using specific antibodies. Blots were also normalized by measuring the amount of GAPDH (histogram). Bars are mean of optical density ratio of each group.* p < 0.001 verses control and Core 1a. GAPDH gene was used as internal control for normalization in Real-Time PCR and in Western blotting. All experiments were performed in 3 independent experiments having triplicate samples in each.