What is encoded in the pathogenesis of hepatitis B (HBV) (Hep B) infection?

Updated: Jun 08, 2021
  • Author: Nikolaos T Pyrsopoulos, MD, PhD, MBA, FACP, AGAF; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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The viral genome of hepatitis B consists of a partially double-stranded, circular DNA molecule of 3.2 kilobase (kb) pairs that encodes the following 4 overlapping open reading frames:

  • S (the surface, or envelope, gene): Encodes the pre-S1, pre-S2, and S proteins

  • C (the core gene): Encodes the core nucleocapsid protein and the e antigen; an upstream region for the S (pre-S) and C (pre-C) genes has been found

  • X (the X gene): Encodes the X protein

  • P (the polymerase gene): Encodes a large protein promoting priming ribonucleic acid (RNA) ̶ dependent and DNA-dependent DNA polymerase and ribonuclease H (RNase H) activities

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