Role of surface promoter mutations in hepatitis B surface antigen production and secretion in occult hepatitis B virus infection
MetadataShow full item record
The production, secretion, and localization of surface proteins of hepatitis B virus (HBV) and the ratio of large to small surface protein S was studied in HepG2 cells transfected with the wild-type and mutant pre-S1 and pre-S2/S promoters of HBV molecular clones 313.1 (GenBank accession no. AY161147) and 761.1 (GenBank accession no. AY161159) from two patients with occult HBV infection. Fusion constructs were made by in frame fusion of the wild-type surface gene to the mutant pre-S1 and pre-S2/S promoters and wild-type promoter so that the structural part of the small surface protein remains identical. HepG2 cells transfected transiently were used for analysis. HBV surface proteins production and secretion was determined by enzyme linked immuno assay (ELISA) and localization by immunofluorescence. Immunoprecipitation of the large, middle, and small surface protein was carried out in transient transfected and metabolically labeled cells to determine the ratio of the large to small surface protein. The results indicate that HepG2 cells transfected with mutant HBV promoters had reduced HBV surface proteins secretion compared to wild-type HBV. HepG2 cells transfected with mutant HBV pre-S1 and pre-S2/S promoters showed cytoplasmic aggregation of HBV surface proteins compared to wild-type HBV promoters, which showed diffuse cytoplasmic localization. In all cases, the HBV surface proteins localized to the endoplasmic reticulum. The ratio between the large and small surface protein was 1.89 and 0.56 with mutant HBV 313.1 and 761.1 pre-S1 and pre-S2/S promoters, respectively, compared to 0.17 in wild-type. Thus, the aggregation of surface proteins, altered ratio and secretion of surface proteins were possibly the causes of occult hepatitis B infection. J. Med. Virol. 79:220-228, 2007. (c) 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.