An N-terminal extension to the hepatitis B virus core protein forms a poorly ordered trimeric spike in assembled virus-like particles.
Bottom Line: Heterologous sequences have been successfully inserted at both amino and carboxy termini as well as internally at the major immunodominant epitope.The insert was seen to form a trimeric spike on the capsid surface that was poorly resolved, most likely owing to it being flexible.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.