f Novel pre-C/C gene mutants of hepatitis B virus in chronic active hepatitis: naturally occurring escape mutants
- Authors: Young Ik Lee*, Gang Min Hur, Dong-Jin Suh, Sun Hee Kim
*Author for correspondence. Fax +82 42 860 4593.
- First Published Online: 01 June 1996, Journal of General Virology 77: 1129-1138, doi: 10.1099/0022-1317-77-6-1129
- Subject: Animal - DNA viruses
- Issue Published:
We have analysed serum samples taken from hepatitis B virus (HBV) e antigen (HBeAg)-positive and HBeAg-negative chronic active hepatitis (CAH) patients by PCR using primers spanning the pre-core/core (C) and pre-S1/S2 ORFs. Nucleotide sequence analysis showed that among 18 HBV-infected CAH patients, 11 had virus with a G to A mutation (nucleotide 1896; leading to the formation of a stop codon) and one patient also had virus with an additional G to A mutation three nucleotides downstream (nucleotide 1899). HBV from three patients that were HBeAg-negative showed a 1 bp deletion at nucleotide 1937, causing pre-termination of the C gene. Mutation frequencies in the sequences identified as coding for cytotoxic T lymphocyte epitopes, B cell epitopes, CD4+ helper T cell epitopes and arginine-rich regions of the HBV C peptide were investigated. Mutations were more frequently identified in these regions, suggesting that the mutations might have been selected as a result of immune responses.
Author for correspondence. Fax +82 42 860 4593.
© Society for General Microbiology 1996 | Published by the Microbiology Society
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