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Virology. 1988 May;164(1):238-44.

Production of hepatitis B virus-infected human B-cell hybridomas: transmission of the viral genome to normal lymphocytes in cocultures.

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Department of Medicine, Cornell University Medical College, New York, New York.


The presence of hepatitis B virus (HBV) genome and transcripts in mononuclear cells from a patient with acute type B hepatitis offered the possibility of developing a cell line which could serve as a model for HBV replication in lymphocytes. A human B-cell hybridoma, KDG92, was then produced which carries HBV DNA in an episomal state and expresses the major virus transcripts as well as its surface (HBsAg), core (HBcAG), and e (HBeAg) antigens. KDG92 releases in the supernatant surface antigen particles but not core or Dane particles. However, in cocultures this hybridoma is able to transmit episomal HBV DNA to normal lymphocytes, both T and B cells. This in vitro system can therefore provide important indications as to the virus life cycle in lymphocytes and the mechanisms of virus propagation from cell to cell.

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