Ph.D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA replication occurs within the HBV icosahedral core particles. HBV core protein (HBc) contains an arginine-rich domain (ARD) at its carboxyl-terminus. This ARD domain of HBc 149-183 is known to be important for viral replication, but not known to have a structure. Recently, nucleocapsid proteins of several viruses have been shown to contain nucleic acid chaperone activity, which can facilitate structural rearrangement of viral genome. Major features of nucleic acid chaperones include highly basic amino acid residues and flexible protein structure.