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PreC and C Regions of Woodchuck Hepatitis Virus Facilitate Persistent Expression of Surface Antigen of Chimeric WHV-HBV Virus in the Hydrodynamic Injection BALB/c Mouse Model.

PreC and C Regions of Woodchuck Hepatitis Virus Facilitate Persistent Expression of Surface Antigen of Chimeric WHV-HBV Virus in the Hydrodynamic Injection BALB/c Mouse Model.
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Wu W, Liu Y, Lin Y, Pan D, Yang D, Lu M, Xu Y,


Wu W, Liu Y, Lin Y, Pan D, Yang D, Lu M, Xu Y, (click to view)

Wu W, Liu Y, Lin Y, Pan D, Yang D, Lu M, Xu Y,

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Viruses 2017 02 219(2) pii E35
Abstract

In the hydrodynamic injection (HI) BALB/c mouse model with the overlength viral genome, we have found that woodchuck hepatitis virus (WHV) could persist for a prolonged period of time (up to 45 weeks), while hepatitis B virus (HBV) was mostly cleared at week four. In this study, we constructed a series of chimeric genomes based on HBV and WHV, in which the individual sequences of a 1.3-fold overlength HBV genome in pBS-HBV1.3 were replaced by their counterparts from WHV. After HI with the WHV-HBV chimeric constructs in BALB/c mice, serum viral antigen, viral DNA (vDNA), and intrahepatic viral antigen expression were analyzed to evaluate the persistence of the chimeric genomes. Interestingly, we found that HI with three chimeric WHV-HBV genomes resulted in persistent antigenemia in mice. All of the persistent chimeric genomes contained the preC region and the part of the C region encoding the N-terminal 1-145 amino acids of the WHV genome. These results indicated that the preC region and the N-terminal part of the C region of the WHV genome may play a role in the persistent antigenemia. The chimeric WHV-HBV genomes were able to stably express viral antigens in the liver and could be further used to express hepadnaviral antigens to study their pathogenic potential.

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