An N-terminal extension to the hepatitis B virus core protein forms a poorly ordered trimeric spike in assembled virus-like particles.
Bottom Line: Virus-like particles composed of the core antigen of hepatitis B virus (HBcAg) have been shown to be an effective platform for the display of foreign epitopes in vaccine development.Heterologous sequences have been successfully inserted at both amino and carboxy termini as well as internally at the major immunodominant epitope.We hypothesise that the capacity of N-terminal inserts to form trimers may have application in the development of multivalent vaccines to trimeric antigens.
Affiliation: MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research, Sir Michael Stoker Building, Garscube Campus, 464 Bearsden Road, Glasgow G61 1QH, Scotland, UK.Show MeSH
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Mentions: Cryomicrographs of purified His-β-L HBcAg VLPs showed the presence of two populations of differently sized particles with diameters of approximately 30 nm and 34 nm, corresponding to the expected sizes for T = 3 and T = 4 classes (Fig. 1A). The T = 3 form was most common (74.4%), in line with the findings of previous studies showing that truncation of the C-terminus increases the ratio of T = 3 versus T = 4 particles (Pumpens and Grens, 2001). 7046 T = 3 and 2419 T = 4 particles were extracted from 785 micrographs and processed to calculate three-dimensional reconstructions.
Affiliation: MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research, Sir Michael Stoker Building, Garscube Campus, 464 Bearsden Road, Glasgow G61 1QH, Scotland, UK.