Hepatitis C virus core protein fused to hepatitis B virus core antigen for serological diagnosis of both hepatitis C and hepatitis B infections by ELISA.J Med Virol. 1999 Feb; 57(2):104-10.JM
The sequence encoding the truncated core protein (amino acids 1-98) of hepatitis C virus (HCc) was expressed in E. coli for production of HCc(1-98), or fused with the truncated core antigen (HBcAg) and segments from the preS1 and preS2 regions from hepatitis B virus (HBV) for production of HBcPreS1PreS2HCc(1-98). The HCc(1-98) and HBcPreS1PreS2HCc(1-98) proteins reacted with sera from HCV-infected individuals by immunoblot analyses, while the latter protein also exhibited HBV core antigenicity. They induced antibodies against HBcAg and/or HCV core protein in rabbits and in mice. Moreover, HBcPreS1PreS2HCc(1-98) is more immunogenic than HCc(1-98) in terms of anti-HCc induction. An ELISA that employed recombinant HCV core antigens of either HCc(1-98) or HBcPreS1PreS2HCc(1-98) to detect anti-HCc and/or anti-HBc antibodies was developed. Evaluation of serum samples with different status of HBV and HCV infections suggested that HCc(1-98) might be suitable for the determination of antibodies against HCV core protein, while HBcPreS1PreS2HCc(1-98) might be of value to detect HCV and/or HBV infection in donated blood in HBV low-prevalence countries.