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Chai N , Chang HE , Nicolas E , Han Z , Jarnik M , Taylor J
Properties of subviral particles of hepatitis B virus
J Virol. 2008 Aug;82(16) :7812-7
PMID: 18524834    PMCID: PMC2519590   
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In the sera of patients infected with hepatitis B virus (HBV), in addition to infectious particles, there is an excess (typically 1,000- to 100,000-fold) of empty subviral particles (SVP) composed solely of HBV envelope proteins in the form of relatively smaller spheres and filaments of variable length. Hepatitis delta virus (HDV) assembly also uses the envelope proteins of HBV to produce an infectious particle. Rate-zonal sedimentation was used to study the particles released from liver cell lines that produced SVP only, HDV plus SVP, and HBV plus SVP. The SVP made in the absence of HBV or HDV were further examined by electron microscopy. They bound efficiently to heparin columns, consistent with an ability to bind cell surface glycosaminoglycans. However, unlike soluble forms of HBV envelope protein that were potent inhibitors, the SVP did not inhibit the ability of HBV and HDV to infect primary human hepatocytes.
Chai, Ning Chang, Ho Eun Nicolas, Emmanuelle Han, Ziying Jarnik, Michal Taylor, John AI-26522/AI/NIAID NIH HHS/United States CA-06927/CA/NCI NIH HHS/United States Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't United States Journal of virology J Virol. 2008 Aug;82(16):7812-7. Epub 2008 Jun 4.