In this study, we examined the ability of the hepatitis B virus (HBV) precore, envelope, and X gene products to modulate HBV replication in the livers of transgenic mice that replicate the virus. Hepatic HBV replication was not affected by overexpression of the envelope or X gene products when these animals were crossed with transgenic mice that express the corresponding viral genes in the hepatocyte. Overexpression of the precore protein, however, eliminated nucleocapsid particles from the cytoplasm of the hepatocytes and abolished HBV replication without affecting the hepatic steady-state content of pregenomic HBV RNA. These observations suggest that the precore protein can exert a dominant negative effect on HBV replication, presumably at the level of nucleocapsid particle maturation or stability, suggesting an important role for this enigmatic vital protein in the HBV life cycle.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Journal of Virology|
|Publication status||Published - Oct 1996|
ASJC Scopus subject areas