Faculty of Biology, University of Latvia
Hard copy: ISSN 1691–8088
On-line: ISSN 2255–9582
Acta Univ Latv (2004) 676: 53–64
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Environmental and

Acta Univ Latv (2004) 676: 53–64

Orginal Article

Subcellular localisation of internally deleted HBV core proteins

Rūta Brūvere1*, Sabine Braun2*, Anna Zajakina1, Jekaterina Aļeksejeva1, Anatolijs Šaripo1, Helga Meisel2, Paul Pumpens1**, Tatjana Kozlovska1
1Department of Protein Engineering, Biomedical Research and Study Centre, University of Latvia, Rātsupītes 1, Rīga LV-1067, Latvia
2Institut für Virologie, Charité, Humboldt-Universität, Universitätsklinikum Charité, Schumannstraße 20/21, Berlin 10117, Germany
*Equal contribution
**Corresponding author, E-mail: paul@biomed.lu.lv


Hepatitis B virus (HBV) variants with core internal deletions were isolated from renal graft recipients in whom an association with end stage liver disease was observed. The aim of this work was evaluation of intracellular localisation of these HBV core variants with internal deletions. Infection of baby hamster kidney cell culture BHC-21 C13 with recombinant Semliki Forest viruses encoding the deleted variant and undeleted wild type HBV core (HBc) genes led to the detection of HBc protein within the nucleus only in the case of deletion variants. Deleted HBc protein in all probability may be partially unfolded, hence unstable. As a consequence, deleted HBc proteins are not part of HBV nucleocapsids, but are left unassembled and are able to cross the nuclear membrane. We suggest that the presence of deleted HBc proteins within the cell nucleus may be of pathogenic importance.

Key words: deletion mutants, hepatitis B virus, HBV core protein, Semliki Forest virus, subcellular localisation.

Acta Univ Latv (2004) 676: 53–64
 DOI: http://doi.org/10.22364/eeb

Prof. Gederts Ievinsh
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University of Latvia

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