Antibodies and Hepatitis viruses both have hypervariable regions. Is one more adaptable than the other? Precisely how adaptable are they? I have read that antibodies can be trained to bind to almost any antigen, is the same true for Hepatitis?

Long-Term Evolution of the Hypervariable Region of Hepatitis C Virus in a Common-Source-Infected Cohort https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC110045/

I guess the first step to answering this is to find/conduct a study in which the Hepatitus virus is mutated and selected for a particular antigen. I am not sure if this has been done, but it definately has been done for antibodies.

  • $\begingroup$ Can you please add some references for the variable region of the hepatitis virus? $\endgroup$
    – Chris
    Commented Jan 30, 2017 at 22:21
  • $\begingroup$ My initial thought is that this question is either too opinion-based or too broad, the comparison between members of different categories, and the measure of "how adaptable" is non-specific and environment-dependent. $\endgroup$
    – Bryan Krause
    Commented Jan 30, 2017 at 22:32
  • $\begingroup$ @BryanKrause Can It be trained to attach to a particular antigen? how adaptable means how many antigens can it be trained to identify. $\endgroup$
    – Dale
    Commented Jan 30, 2017 at 22:35
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ First off, you probably mean antibody-producing cells; a given antibody can't be trained or adapted, it's just a protein, and it will bind whatever fits in its antigen-binding region. I don't think it's really reasonable to count the number of antigens, because there doesn't necessarily have to be a one-to-one ratio: a given structure can potentially bind many different antigens, as long as there exists an appropriate motif that "fits." $\endgroup$
    – Bryan Krause
    Commented Jan 30, 2017 at 22:43


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