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Phage Displayed HBV Core Antigen with Immunogenic Activity

   Bahadir, Aylin Ozdemir; Balcioglu, Bertan Koray; Uzyol, Kamil Serkan; Hatipoglu, Ibrahim; Sogut, Ibrahim; Basalp, Aynur; Erdag, Berrin

Hepatitis B is a major public health problem worldwide, which may lead to chronic liver diseases such as cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. The hepatitis B core antigen (HBcAg) is one of the major viral proteins, which forms the inner core of hepatitis B virus (HBV) particles. In this study, filamentous bacteriophage M13 was genetically modified to display the polypeptides of HBcAg in order to develop an alternative carrier system. HBcAg gene was inserted into the minor coat protein (pIII) gene of M13, and HBcAg was expressed on the phage surface as a whole protein. Antigenicity and immunogenicity of HBcAg were tested by immunizing BALB/c mice three times with HBcAg-displaying recombinant phages. After successful immunization, one of the mice with high antibody titer to HBcAg was selected for fusion, and four monoclonal antibodies specific for HBcAg were developed. This result showed that HBcAg-displaying recombinant bacteriophages are immunogenic and can potentially be used for the development of monoclonal antibodies.

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