The Molecular Biology of the Hepatitis B Viruses

The Molecular Biology of the Hepatitis B Viruses 651 0066-4154/87/0701-0651$02.00 GANEM & V ARMUS PERSPECTIVE Although the recognition of hepatitis as an infectious disease dates to antiq­ uity, the identification of hepatitis B virus (HBV) as one of its important causes was not achieved until the late 1 960s . Over the ensuing 10 years, rapid progress was made in the structural and biological characterization of the virus, but its narrow host range and inability to be propagated in cultured cells stymied early efforts to elucidate the molecular details of viral replication. Within the past decade, however, the development of workable animal mod­ els of HBV infection, together with ongoing advances in molecular genetics, has brought these once-refractory areas into full experimental view . The result has been the revelation of a remarkably intricate life cycle, at each step of which unusual strategies are employed. The replication of viral DNA pro­ ceeds via reverse transcription of an RNA intermediate, using protein and RNA primers for the generation of the first and second DNA strands. Large fractions of the genome are translated in more than one reading frame; within a frame, proteins from multiple in-phase initiator codons are expressed from overlapping transcripts. The resulting closely related gene http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Annual Review of Biochemistry Annual Reviews

The Molecular Biology of the Hepatitis B Viruses

Annual Review of Biochemistry, Volume 56 (1) – Jul 1, 1987

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Publisher
Annual Reviews
Copyright
Copyright 1987 Annual Reviews. All rights reserved
Subject
Review Articles
ISSN
0066-4154
eISSN
1545-4509
D.O.I.
10.1146/annurev.bi.56.070187.003251
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

651 0066-4154/87/0701-0651$02.00 GANEM & V ARMUS PERSPECTIVE Although the recognition of hepatitis as an infectious disease dates to antiq­ uity, the identification of hepatitis B virus (HBV) as one of its important causes was not achieved until the late 1 960s . Over the ensuing 10 years, rapid progress was made in the structural and biological characterization of the virus, but its narrow host range and inability to be propagated in cultured cells stymied early efforts to elucidate the molecular details of viral replication. Within the past decade, however, the development of workable animal mod­ els of HBV infection, together with ongoing advances in molecular genetics, has brought these once-refractory areas into full experimental view . The result has been the revelation of a remarkably intricate life cycle, at each step of which unusual strategies are employed. The replication of viral DNA pro­ ceeds via reverse transcription of an RNA intermediate, using protein and RNA primers for the generation of the first and second DNA strands. Large fractions of the genome are translated in more than one reading frame; within a frame, proteins from multiple in-phase initiator codons are expressed from overlapping transcripts. The resulting closely related gene

Journal

Annual Review of BiochemistryAnnual Reviews

Published: Jul 1, 1987

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