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Mutations in the transcriptional regulatory region of the precore and core/pregenome of a hepatitis B virus with defective HBeAg production



Mutations in the transcriptional regulatory region of the precore and core/pregenome of a hepatitis B virus with defective HBeAg production



Fukuoka Igaku Zasshi 85(11): 314-322



Termination mutations in the precore open reading frame of hepatitis B virus (HBV) variants with defective hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) production have been demonstrated in both infected patients who have seroconverted to anti-HBe and those with fulminant hepatitis B. A donated plasma sample was found to be positive for the hepatitis B surface antigen, but negative for both HBeAg and anti-HBe. The HBV DNA titer in the plasma was estimated to be 32 pg/ml, and circulating virus-like particles were observed by electron microscopy. The entire nucleotide sequence of the virus was determined and at least 7 nucleotides were found to be unique when compared with previously reported sequences. These nucleotides created no termination codon in the precore/core, pol, preS/S and HBx open reading frames. The deduced amino acid substitutions were 28 Arg--Gln, 94 His--Tyr, 131 Val--Ile and 132 Phe--Tyr of HBx and 715 Met--Val and 789 Asp--Asn of pol. Furthermore, the precore and core/pregenome promoter contained altered 1764 A, 1766 T and 1768 A. Therefore, mutations in regions other than the precore open reading frame can cause defective HBeAg production.

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Accession: 009068701

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PMID: 7851832


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