The hepatis B virus X protein (HBX) has been thought to be implicated in the development of hepatocellular carcinoma. Although many functions of HBx have been reported, it is not clear which of HBx functions is important in hepatocellular carcinogenesis. To study HBx function, we produced a monoclonal anti-HBx Ab secreted by bybridoma cell clone H7 and mapped its epitope to a region of HBx between amino acids 29 and 48 by Western blot with truncated forms of HBx and by enzyme-linked immunoadsorbent assay (ELISA) with synthetic HBx peptides. The variable regions of H7 anti-HBx Ab were cloned by polymerase chain reaction using the degenerate-primers and by the 5' rapid amplification-cDNA end method. The sequence analyses revealed that the variable gene segments of the heavy and light chains are the members of mouse heavy chain variable gene 1 family and κ light chain variable gene 2 family, respectiveiy. In addition, J(H)2 or J(κ)4 gene segment at the end of the heavy-chain or light-chain variable region and DSP2.x gene segment in the CDR 3 of heavy chain were identified.
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