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Mol Cell. 1999 Jun;3(6):771-80.

The crystal structure of the human hepatitis B virus capsid.

Author information

1
Medical Research Council, Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, United Kingdom.

Abstract

Hepatitis B is a small enveloped DNA virus that poses a major hazard to human health. The crystal structure of the T = 4 capsid has been solved at 3.3 A resolution, revealing a largely helical protein fold that is unusual for icosahedral viruses. The monomer fold is stabilized by a hydrophobic core that is highly conserved among human viral variants. Association of two amphipathic alpha-helical hairpins results in formation of a dimer with a four-helix bundle as the major central feature. The capsid is assembled from dimers via interactions involving a highly conserved region near the C terminus of the truncated protein used for crystallization. The major immunodominant region lies at the tips of the alpha-helical hairpins that form spikes on the capsid surface.

PMID:
10394365
DOI:
10.1016/s1097-2765(01)80009-5
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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