Interaction and Replication Activation of Genotype I and II Hepatitis Delta Antigens

Sheng Chieh Hsu, Jaw Ching Wu, I. Jane Sheen, Wan Jr Syu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

9 Scopus citations


The nucleotide sequences of hepatitis D viruses (HDV) vary 5 to 14% among isolates of the same genotype and 23 to 34% among different genotypes. The only viral-genome-encoded antigen, hepatitis delta antigen (HDAg), has two forms that differ in size. The small HDAg (HDAg-S) trans-activates viral replication, while the large form (HDAg-L) is essential for viral assembly. Previously, it has been shown that the packaging efficiency of HDAg-L is higher for genotype I than for genotype II. In this study, the question of whether other functional properties of the HDAgs are affected by genotype differences is addressed. By coexpression of the two antigens in HuH-7 cells followed by specific antibody precipitation, it was found that HDAgs of different origins interacted without genotypic discrimination. Moreover, in the presence of hepatitis B virus surface antigen, HDAg-S was incorporated into virion-like particles through interaction with HDAg-L without genotype restriction. As to the differences in replication activation of genotype I HDV RNA, all HDAg-S clones tested had some transactivation activity, and this activity varied greatly among isolates. As to the support of HDV genotype II replication, only clones of HDAg-S from genotype II showed trans-activation activity, and this activity also varied among isolates. In conclusion, genotype has no effect on HDAg interaction and genotype per se only partly predicts how much the HDAg-S of an HDV isolate affects the replication of a second HDV isolate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2693-2700
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Virology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 03 2004
Externally publishedYes


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