Expression of hepatitis B virus core and precore antigens in insect cells and characterization of a core-associated kinase activity

Robert E. Lanford, Lena Notvall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The hepatitis B virus core open reading frame with and without the precore domain was expressed in insect cells using a baculovirus expression system. Precore antigen was not properly processed in insect cells and was present in highly insoluble cytoplasmic aggregates. Core antigen without the precore domain formed core particles with a diameter of 28 nm that were secreted into the medium. Both core and precore antigens were phosphorylated in insect cells. The immune response in mice to both antigens yielded antibodies with a high degree of preferential reactivity for the homologous immunizing polypeptide. A kinase activity that phosphorylated core antigen was associated with highly purified core particles. The kinase activity resembled that previously demonstrated for core particles purified from the cytoplasm of infected hepatocytes and detergent-treated Dane particles. Partial resistance of the phosphate-label to phosphatase treatment suggested that some of the phosphorylated sites are in the interior of the particle. The presence of kinase activity in recombinant core particles demonstrated that this activity is not derived from another hepatitis B virus-encoded polypeptide, and the lack of a kinase consensus sequence in the core open reading frame suggests that the kinase is of cellular origin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)222-233
Number of pages12
JournalVirology
Volume176
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes

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Hepatitis B virus
Insects
Phosphotransferases
Antigens
Open Reading Frames
Peptides
Baculoviridae
Consensus Sequence
Phosphoric Monoester Hydrolases
Detergents
Hepatocytes
Cytoplasm
Phosphates
Antibodies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases

Cite this

Expression of hepatitis B virus core and precore antigens in insect cells and characterization of a core-associated kinase activity. / Lanford, Robert E.; Notvall, Lena.

In: Virology, Vol. 176, No. 1, 1990, p. 222-233.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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