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J Med Virol. 1978;2(1):61-76.

Differential activation of hepatitis B DNA polymerase by detergent and salt.


Three patterns of activity were evident when the differential activation of the DNA polymerase associated with serum Dane particles by nonionic detergent and salt was investigated. The patterns were obtained by plotting the increase in enzyme activity mediated by the detergent Nonidet P-40 (NP-40) in increasing concentrations of KCl compared to the activity observed in the absence of detergent. The pattern of differential activity of hepatitis B (HB) DNA polymerase in detergent and salt was altered by subjecting the HBAg preparations to shearing forces. Hepatitis B DNA polymerase activity was stable even in NP-40 concentrations as high as 10%. In addition to hepatitis B DNA polymerase, DNA polymerase activated by calf thymus DNA was found in pellets containing Dane particles. The latter DNA polymerase activity was also activated by NP-40 and was not decreased by DNAse; this DNA polymerase coprecipitated with hepatitis B antigen (HBAg) upon addition of anti-HBs. However, the DNA polymerase activated by calf thymus DNA was inhibited by 0.4 M KCl. Electron microscopic observations of serum Dane particles in 0.4 M KCl showed no alterations of morphology of these particles when compared to particles in low-salt buffer. The data indicated that KCl activated HB DNA polymerase by a different mechanism from that of shear or NP-40, which removed the surface antigen coat from the Dane particles.

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