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Parvez, M.K. and Thakur, V. and Kazim, S.N. and Guptan, R.C. and Hasnain, S.E. and Sarin, S.K. (2001) Base-pair alterations in the epsilon-lower stem due to a novel double substitution in the precore gene of HBV-e negative variant were recovered by secondary mutations. Virus Genes, 23 (3). pp. 315-320. ISSN 0920-8569

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The HBe negative phenotype, a natural precore mutant (G1896A/G1897A) of HBV with aborted HBeAg expression is known to cause chronic hepatitis. The destabilized C:G base-pairing in the lower stem of epsilon-hairpin due to G1896A substitution is reportedly compensated by a second C1858T mutation and suggested to play an important role in enhanced selection of the HBe negative variant. We undertook to investigate presence of such compensatory mutations at other positions by analyzing epsilon-sequences (nts. 1847-1907) as well as to look for their effect(s), if any, on the consensus sequence of the overlapping core-initiator of HBe negative HBV variants in CLD patients. Three of the 5 HBe negative patients had classical G1896A mutation having a second compensatory mutation at nt. 1858. One patient showed an additional G1897A substitution, presenting as a novel precore stop codon mutation (UGG→UAA), followed by a compensatory mutation at position 1857. In the third patient, a G1899A substitution was seen which compensated the impaired U at position 1855. Other substitution and deletion mutations were also observed in the remaining epsilon-hairpin, which however, did not produce any compensatory mutation. Further, all the precore variants showed a conserved G at position 1904, important for the optimal context of their core-initiator which however, remained impaired with A (nt. 1850). Our results suggest that the nts. 1851-1859 and nts. 1895-1904 in the lower stem, and restoration of authentic base-pairings therein, maintain the structural integrity and stability of the epsilon-hairpin. This may have a role in the enhanced selection of the HBe negative variants and persistence of HBV infection in chronic liver disease patients.

Item Type: Article
Depositing User: Users 2 not found.
Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2015 07:08
Last Modified: 27 Jun 2016 09:33
URI: http://cdfd.sciencecentral.in/id/eprint/117

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