Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1996 May 28;93(11):5647-52.

A truncated mutant (residues 58-140) of the hepatitis B virus X protein retains transactivation function.

Author information

  • 1Virology Group, International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Aruna Asaf Ali Marg, New Delhi, India.


The hepatitis B virus X protein (HBx) sequence (154 aa) has been divided into six regions (A-F) based on its sequence homology with X proteins of other mammalian hepadnaviruses. Regions A, C, and E are more conserved and include all the four conserved cysteines (C7, C61, C69, and C137). To localize the regions of HBx important for transactivation, a panel of 10 deletion mutants (X5-X14) and 4 single point mutants (X1-X4), each corresponding to a conserved cysteine residue, was constructed by site-directed mutagenesis. A HBx-specific monoclonal antibody was developed and used to confirm the expression of mutants by Western blot. Transactivation property of the HBx mutants was studied on Rous sarcoma virus-long terminal repeat (RSV-LTR) in transient transfection assays. We observed that deletion of the most conserved region A or substitution of the N-terminal cysteine (C7) had no effect on transactivation. Deletion of the nonconserved regions B or F also had no deleterious effects. Deletions of regions C and D resulted in a significant loss of function. Substitution of both C61 and C69 present in region C, caused almost 90% loss of activity that could be partially overcome by transfecting more expression plasmid. The fully conserved 9 amino acid segment (residues 132 to 140) within region E including C137 appeared to be crucial for its activity. Finally, a truncated mutant X15 incorporating only regions C to E (amino acids 58-140) was able to stimulate the RSV-LTR quite efficiently, suggesting a crucial role played by this domain in transactivation function.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk