The X Files--One Step Closer to Closure

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Science  14 Dec 2001:
Vol. 294, Issue 5550, pp. 2299-2300
DOI: 10.1126/science.1067850

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There may be drugs and a useful vaccine available to combat the hepatitis B virus, but one aspect of this pathogen remains a puzzle: the function of its HBx protein. As Ganem reveals in his Perspective, new findings ( Bouchard et al.) show that this versatile viral protein is an activator of calcium-dependent Ras signaling, an observation that may explain many of its biological effects.