Structure of hepatitis B virus core and e-antigen. A single precore amino acid prevents nucleocapsid assembly.

The hepatitis B virus core gene codes for two polypeptides: the core protein, which assembles to form particles (HBcAg), and the secreted precore protein (HBeAg). Expression vectors directing the synthesis in Escherichia coli of a recombinant HBeAg corresponding in sequence to serum-derived HBeAg encompassing the 10 precore amino acids remaining after… (More)