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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2011 Sep 9;412(4):633-7. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2011.08.014. Epub 2011 Aug 11.

Blocking peptides against HBV: preS1 protein selected from a phage display library.

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State Key Laboratory of Virology, Wuhan Institute of Virology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan, PR China.


The PreS1 protein is present on the outermost part of the hepatitis B virus (HBV) surface and has been shown to have a pivotal function in viral infectivity and assembly. The development of reagents with high affinity and specificity for PreS1 is of great significance for early diagnosis and treatment of HBV infection. A phage display library of dodecapeptide was screened for interactions with purified PreS1 protein. Alignment of the positive phage clones revealed a putative consensus PreS1 binding motif of HX(n)HX(m)HP/R. Moreover, a peptide named P7 (KHMHWHPPALNT) was highly enriched and occurred with a surprisingly high frequency of 72%. A thermodynamic study revealed that P7 has a higher binding affinity to PreS1 than the other peptides. Furthermore, P7 was able to abrogate the binding of HBV virions to the PreS1 antibody, suggesting that P7 covers key functional sites on the native PreS1 protein. This newly isolated peptide may, therefore, be a new therapeutic candidate for the treatment of HBV. The consensus motif could be modified to deliver imaging, diagnostic, and therapeutic agents to tissues affected by HBV.

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