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J Virol. Nov 1973; 12(5): 995–1005.
PMCID: PMC356728

DNA Polymerase Associated with Human Hepatitis B Antigen


DNA polymerase activity was detected in each of eight preparations of concentrated human hepatitis B antigen (HBAg) rich in Dane particles prepared by high-speed centrifugation of antigen-positive human plasma and in none of seven control preparations prepared in the same way from HBAg-negative plasma. The incorporation of 3H-thymidine-methyl-5′-triphosphate into DNA was dependent on four deoxyribonucleoside triphosphates and MgCl2. Treatment of the concentrated HBAg preparations with the nonionic detergent Nonidet P-40 (NP40) more than doubled the enzyme activity. Fractionation of the concentrated HBAg preparation in sucrose density gradients after treatment with NP40 revealed that the enzyme activity appeared within the density range of Dane core antigen but at a slightly higher density than the average for core antigen. The only particles observed by electron microscopy in this region of the gradient were typical 28-nm cores, suggesting that the DNA polymerase activity was associated with a subpopulation of cores. No DNA polymerase activity was found in purified 20-nm HBAg particles. The DNA product of the reaction remained associated with the 110S core and was not susceptible to DNase digestion when associated with the core. Inhibition of the reaction by actinomycin D and daunomycin suggested that the reaction was dependent on a DNA template associated with the core.

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Selected References

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