Identification of a prenylation site in delta virus large antigen

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  29 May 1992:
Vol. 256, Issue 5061, pp. 1331-1333
DOI: 10.1126/science.1598578


During replication, hepatitis delta virus (HDV) switches from production of small to large delta antigen. Both antigen isoforms have an HDV genome binding domain and are packaged into hepatitis B virus (HBV)-derived envelopes but differ at their carboxy termini. The large antigen was shown to contain a terminal CXXX box and undergo prenylation. The large, but not the small, antigen formed secreted particles when expressed singly with HBV surface antigen. Mutation of Cys211 in the CXXX box of the large antigen abolished both prenylation and particle formation, suggesting that this site is important for virion morphogenesis.