This study examined how the envelope proteins of 25 variants of hepatitis B virus (HBV) genotypes A to I support hepatitis delta virus (HDV) infectivity. The assembled virions bore the same HDV ribonucleoprotein and differed only by the HBV variantspecific envelope proteins coating the particles. The total HDV yields varied within a 122-fold range. A residue Y (position 374) in the HDV binding site was identified as critical for HDV assembly. Virions that bound antibodies, which recognize the region that includes the HBV matrix domain and predominantly but not exclusively immunoprecipitate the PreS1-containing virions, were termed PreS1*-HDVs. Using in vitro infection of primary human hepatocytes (PHH), we measured the specific infectivity (SI), which is the number of HDV genomes/cell produced by infection and normalized by the PreS1*-MOI, which is the multiplicity of infection that reflects the number of PreS1*-HDVs per cell in the inoculum used. The SI values varied within a 160-fold range and indicated a probable HBV genotype-specific trend of D>B>E>A in supporting HDV infectivity. Three variants, of genotypes B, C, and D, supported the highest SI values. We also determined the normalized index (NI) of infected PHH, which is the percentage of HDV-infected hepatocytes normalized by the PreS1*-MOI. Comparison of the SI and NI values revealed that, while a particular HBV variant may facilitate the infection of a relatively significant fraction of PHH, it may not always result in a considerable number of genomes that initiated replication after entry. The potential implications of these findings are discussed in the context of the mechanism of attachment/entry of HBV and HDV.
UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
- SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-Being