After 1 year of HDV genome replication in culture in the presence of an exogenous source of S-HDAg, more than 97% of all genomes are edited at position 1012, the editing site responsible for the ability to switch from translation of S-HDAg protein to L-HDAg (Chang and Taylor 2005b). However, there are many other changes that accumulate in the HDV RNA. Moreover, 90% of these could be explained as ADAR-editing of either genomic or antigenomic strands. Thus, while it is tempting to see that change at position 1012 as site specific, we must admit that many other changes can occur and we detect whatever can be tolerated in the situation; that is, even within a few days of replication in culture, there are strong selective pressures for those HDV RNAs that can be replicated and are able to accumulate.

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