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J Biol Chem. 1999 Sep 24;274(39):27658-65.

Identification and expression of glycine decarboxylase (p120) as a duck hepatitis B virus pre-S envelope-binding protein.

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Molecular Hepatology Laboratory, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center and Harvard Medical School, Charlestown, Massachusetts 02129, USA.


A 120-kilodalton protein (p120) was identified in the duck liver that binds to several truncated versions of duck hepatitis B virus (DHBV) pre-S envelope protein, suggesting p120 may serve as a DHBV co-receptor. The amino acid sequences of tryptic peptides from purified p120 were found to be the duck p protein of the glycine decarboxylase complex (DGD). DGD cDNA cloning revealed extensive protein conservation with the chicken homologue except for several insertions in the N-terminal leader sequence. The DGD cDNA contained no in-frame AUG codon at the predicted initiation site of the open reading frame, and site-directed mutagenesis experiments established an AUU codon as the translational initiator. The DGD protein expressed in rabbit reticulocyte lysates bound truncated DHBV pre-S protein identical to that of p120 derived from duck liver confirming DGD as p120. Moreover, transfection studies in liver- and kidney-derived cells revealed both cell surface and cytoplasmic expression of the protein. Cloning of the glycine decarboxylase cDNA will permit a direct test of whether it functions as a cell surface co-receptor or as a co-factor in the DHBV replication cycles.

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