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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Apr 1977; 74(4): 1530–1534.
PMCID: PMC430823

Partial amino acid sequence of two major component polypeptides of hepatitis B surface antigen.


Determination of the amino acid sequence of the immunogenic polypeptides of hepatitis B surface antigen may not only permit molecular localization of the distinct determinants a, d, and y but may also lead to the synthesis of a hapten useful in prophylactic immunization against hepatitis B virus infection. For this purpose, purified monotypic hepatitis B surface antigen of adw subtype was resolved into equal amounts of two major polypeptides (22,000 and 28,000 daltons) and up to six other minor polypeptides by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. With the periodate staining reaction, only the 28,000-dalton polypeptide stained as a glycoprotein. Guinea pigs immunized with the 22,000-dalton polypeptide produced potent antisera against determinants a and d, but the 28,000-dalton glycoprotein did not induce a response. Both polypeptides isolated by preparative polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis showed amino acid composition identical with that of the intact antigen. For both polypeptides, hydrazinolysis gave Ile as the carboxyterminus, and carboxypeptidase A digestion gave the same terminal sequence, Val-Tyr-Ile. Both peptides also yielded an identical sequence of amino acids in nine steps of Edman degradation--Met-Glu-Asn-Ile-Thr-Ser(Cys)-Gly-Phe-Leu. Our data suggest that hepatitis B surface antigen contains a single major immunogenic 22,000-dalton polypeptide component, part of which is modified by the addition of carbohydrate to give rise to the glycopeptide of apparent molecular weight 28,000.

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Selected References

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