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J Biotechnol. 1999 Jun 11;72(1-2):49-59.

Expression and characterization of chimeric hepatitis B surface antigen particles carrying preS epitopes.

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Shanghai Institute of Biochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, PR China.


Many studies have provided evidence that hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) including preS1 and preS2 sequences could be an ideal candidate for a new hepatitis B virus (HBV) vaccine with higher efficacy. However, the large (L) protein containing the entire preS region expressed in mammalian cells is not efficiently assembled into particles and secreted. Here we report an alternative approach to include the dominant epitopes of preS1 and preS2 to the small (S) protein as fusion proteins by the recombinant DNA technology. Three fusion proteins containing preS2(120-146) and preS1(21-47) at the N-terminus and/or truncated C-terminus of S protein were expressed using the recombinant vaccinia virus system. All these fusion proteins were efficiently secreted in the particulate form, and displayed S, preS1 and/or preS2 antigenicity. Further analysis showed that these chimeric HBsAg particles elicited strong antibody responses against S, preS1 and preS2 antigens in BALB/c mice, suggesting that they could be promising candidates for a new recombinant vaccine to induce broader antibody response required for protection against hepatitis B viral infection.

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