1887

Abstract

The envelope of hepatitis B virus (HBV) consists of three related proteins known as the large (L), middle (M) and small (S) hepatitis B surface antigens (HBsAg). L-HBsAg has a 108-119 amino acid extension at the N terminus compared with M-HBsAg and contains the preS1 sequence of the HBV envelope. Previous research has identified this region as the likely virus attachment protein which is thought to interact with the cellular receptor for the virus. However, as the receptor has still not been identified unequivocally, we used the preS1 region of L-HBsAg to screen a human liver cDNA library by the yeast two-hybrid system. Several positive clones were isolated which encoded cellular proteins that interacted with the HBV preS1 protein. The specificity was examined in an independent manner in experiments in which baculovirus-derived glutathione S-transferase (GST)-preS1 was incubated with 35S-labelled protein expressed by in vitro translation from the positive clones. The intensity of the interactions using this alternative approach mirrored those observed in the yeast two-hybrid system and two proteins (an unidentified protein and a mitochondrial protein) were selected for further study. The specificity of the binding reaction between the preS1 protein and these two proteins was further confirmed in a competition assay; HBV purified from serum, but not purified HBsAg, was able to compete with preS1 and thus block GST-preS1 binding to the unidentified protein but not to the mitochondrial protein. The unidentified protein was then expressed as a fusion protein with GST and this was able to bind HBV virions in a direct manner.

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/content/journal/jgv/10.1099/0022-1317-80-3-607
1999-03-01
2019-11-17
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http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/journal/jgv/10.1099/0022-1317-80-3-607
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