3 years ago

X protein variants of the autochthonous Latin American hepatitis B virus F genotype promotes human hepatocyte death by the induction of apoptosis and autophagy

The hepatitis B virus X protein (HBV-X) is a multifunctional regulatory protein associated with the pathogenesis of liver disease in chronic HBV infection. Basal core promoter mutations (BCP), associated with the clinical course of chronic HBV infection, affect HBV-X at 130-131 positions. The role of these mutations on HBV-X biological activity remains largely unknown. The aim of this study was to analyze the impact of the presence of different amino acids at 130-131 positions of HBV-X on the biological activity of the protein. Transient expression of wild type and mutant F1b and F4 HBV-X increased cell mortality by the induction of apoptosis in human hepatoma cells. The wild type and mutant HBV-X differentially modulate the expression of pro-apoptotic (Bax) and anti-apoptotic (Bcl-2 and Bcl-X) regulatory proteins of the Bcl-2 family. Furthermore, the expression of HBV-X variants of both subgenotypes induced autophagy of human tumoral hepatocytes. In conclusion, HBV-X variants of the Latin American HBV F genotype promotes human hepatocytes death by the induction of apoptosis and autophagy. The results of this work describe some of the molecular mechanisms by which HBV-X variants contribute to the pathogenesis of liver diseases in the infected liver and help to the biological characterization of genotype F, responsible of the majority of HBV infections in Argentina.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0168170217305464

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