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Journal Articles Journal of Virology Year : 2007

Hepatitis B Subviral Envelope Particle Morphogenesis and Intracellular Trafficking


Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is unusual in that its surface proteins (S, M and L for small, medium and large) are not only incorporated into the virion envelope, but they also bud into empty subviral particles, in great excess over virions. The morphogenesis of these subviral envelope particles remains unclear, but the S protein is essential and sufficient for budding. We show here that in contrast to the presumed model, the HBV subviral particle formed by the S protein self-assembles into branched filaments in the lumen of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). These long filaments are then folded and bridged for packing into crystal-like structures, which are then transported by ER-derived vesicles to the ER-Golgi intermediate compartment (ERGIC). Within the ERGIC, they are unpacked and relaxed, and their size and shape probably limits further progression through the secretory pathway. Such progression requires their conversion into spherical particles, which occurred spontaneously during the purification of these filaments by affinity chromatography. Small branched filaments are also formed by the L protein in the ER lumen, but these filaments are not packed into transport vesicles. They are transported less efficiently to the ERGIC, potentially accounting for the retention of the L protein within cells. These findings shed light on an important step in the HBV infectious cycle, as the intracellular accumulation of HBV subviral filaments may be directly linked to viral pathogenesis.
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Dates and versions

inserm-00139672 , version 1 (03-04-2007)


  • HAL Id : inserm-00139672 , version 1
  • PUBMED : 17267490


Romuald Patient, Christophe Hourioux, Pierre-Yves Sizaret, Sylvie Trassard, Camille Sureau, et al.. Hepatitis B Subviral Envelope Particle Morphogenesis and Intracellular Trafficking: HBs Ag particle morphogenesis and trafficking. Journal of Virology, 2007, 81 (8), pp.3842-3851. ⟨inserm-00139672⟩


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