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Hepatitis B virus (HBV) polymerase is divided into terminal protein, spacer, reverse transcriptase, and RNase domains. Spacer has previously been considered dispensable, merely acting as a tether between other domains or providing plasticity to accommodate deletions and mutations. We explore evidence for the role of spacer sequence, structure, and function in HBV evolution and lineage, consider its associations with escape from drugs, vaccines, and immune responses, and review its potential impacts on disease outcomes.

Original publication

DOI

10.1128/jvi.00051-22

Type

Journal article

Journal

Journal of Virology

Publisher

American Society for Microbiology

Publication Date

12/04/2022