A subgenomic cDNA clone from hepatitis A virus strain HM175, composed of the last eight nucleotides of the 5′ non-translated region and the first 2248 nucleotides of the coding sequence (P1 region), was inserted into a vector under the control of the T7 promoter. Restriction enzyme digestion at sites within the structural region and subsequent transcription yielded RNA products which were translated efficiently in rabbit reticulocyte lysates to produce proteins of the predicted sizes. The translation products were specifically precipitated with antipeptide antisera; these reactions were not affected by denaturation of the antigens by boiling in 1% SDS. The translated proteins were also precipitated by antivirion antisera, but recognition was totally abolished following denaturation. Thus antivirion antisera recognized conformation-dependent epitopes expressed on the translated products exclusively.


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