The hepatitis B virus particle consists of an envelope carrying the surface antigen of the virus and an internal capsid consisting of the core antigen (HBcAg). The internal capsid contains the circular, partially dsDNA genome and the viral polymerase. Empty core particles have been produced in cells using a recombinant baculovirus vector, YM1KTc, that expresses a 21.4K derivative of the HBcAg gene. The particles have been purified to homogeneity by caesium chloride density gradient centrifugation followed by glycerol gradient centrifugation. Physicochemical analysis of the core particles showed that they exhibited a sedimentation coefficient ( ) of 82.5S and a diffusion coefficient () of 1.28 × 10 cm/s. The obtained by substitution of these values in the Svedberg equation was 5.8 × 10, using a partial specific volume of 0.73 ml/g for the viral protein as estimated from the amino acid composition. The determined from sedimentation equilibrium analyses was 6.3 × 10. Spectrophotometric and metabolic labelling analyses failed to detect nucleic acids in the core preparations. The data are at variance with the prediction that cores exhibit a T = 3 symmetry and contain some 180 subunits. The results suggest that the baculovirus-expressed cores may contain up to 300 subunits of HBcAg protein.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Most cited this month Most Cited RSS feed

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error