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Virology. 1992 Apr;187(2):663-70.

Characterization of the hepatitis B virus preS/S region encoded transcriptional transactivator.

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I Clinica Medica and Fondazione Andrea Cesalpino Policlinico Umberto I, Rome, Italy.


A transactivating function generated by carboxy-terminal truncation of the HBV envelope proteins has been recently described. To characterize the preS/S protein domains responsible for transactivation, preS1/S2/S and preS2/S 3' deletion mutants under the control of the adenoviral major late promoter were tested for their transactivating potential in cotransfection experiments using the c-myc and c-fos regulatory sequences as targets. Deletion of the carboxyterminal hydrophobic domain of the S protein and the presence of the endoplasmic reticulum insertion signal I (ER signal I) are required for the generation of the preS/S transactivating function. Multiple transcription factors binding sites (i.e., TRE, SRE, and NFkB sites) mediated the truncated preS/S-induced activation of the target regulatory sequences. The transactivation phenomenon is linked, at least in part, to the protein kinase C signaling pathway.

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