Mechanisms of HBV-related hepatocarcinogenesis.

Oncogenesis and Molecular Virology Unit, Institut Pasteur, Inserm U579, 28 rue du Dr Roux, Paris cedex 15, France.
Journal of Hepatology (Impact Factor: 10.4). 04/2010; 52(4):594-604. DOI: 10.1016/j.jhep.2009.10.033
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a small enveloped DNA virus, which primarily infects hepatocytes and causes acute and persistent liver disease. Epidemiological studies have provided overwhelming evidence for a causal role of chronic HBV infection in the development of hepatocellular carcinoma, but the molecular mechanisms underlying virally-induced tumourigenesis remain largely debated. In the absence of a dominant oncogene encoded by the HBV genome, indirect roles have been proposed, including insertional activation of cellular cancer-related genes by HBV DNA integration, induction of genetic instability by viral integration or by the regulatory protein HBx, and long-term effects of viral proteins in enhancing immune-mediated liver disease. Recent genetic studies indicate that HBV-related tumours display a distinctive profile with a high rate of chromosomal alterations and low frequency of beta-catenin mutations. This review will discuss the evidence implicating chronic HBV infection as a causal risk factor of primary liver cancer. It will also discuss the molecular mechanisms that are critical for the tumourigenic process due to long lasting infection with HBV.

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    ABSTRACT: Genomically distal mutations can contribute to the deregulation of cancer genes by engaging in chromatin interactions. To study this, we overlay viral cancer-causing insertions obtained in a murine retroviral insertional mutagenesis screen with genome-wide chromatin conformation capture data. Here we find that insertions tend to cluster in 3D hotspots within the nucleus. The identified hotspots are significantly enriched for known cancer genes, and bear the expected characteristics of bona fide regulatory interactions, such as enrichment for transcription factor-binding sites. In addition, we observe a striking pattern of mutual exclusive integration. This is an indication that insertions in these loci target the same gene, either in their linear genomic vicinity or in their 3D spatial vicinity. Our findings shed new light on the repertoire of targets obtained from insertional mutagenesis screening and underline the importance of considering the genome as a 3D structure when studying effects of genomic perturbations.
    Nature Communications 01/2015; 6:6381. DOI:10.1038/ncomms7381 · 10.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background The underlying mechanisms of carcinogenesis and gender disparity in hepatitis B virus (HBV)-induced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) remain unclear. Recently, we reported a novel HCC-related W4P/R mutation in the large surface protein (LHB) of HBV genotype C, which was found exclusively in male HCC patients.MethodsLHB sequences from a carrier (wild type; WT) and W4P variant LHB sequence from an HCC patient were cloned and used to generate NIH3T3 and Huh7 cell lines. Cell proliferation and in vitro tumorigenicity were assessed by cell growth and transformation assays. Male and female nude mice were injected with the cells to determine in vivo tumorigenicity. To confirm the effect of estrogen in W4P-mediated tumorigenicity, male mice were injected with estrogen and challenged with W4P-expressing cells. The serum levels of different cytokines from the mouse model and patients were analyzed by ELISA. A critical role of interleukin (IL)-6 signaling in W4P-mediated tumorigenicity was tested by inhibition of Jak2.ResultsAlthough both WT and W4P variant LHBs enhanced cell proliferation by regulating the cell cycle and facilitated cell colony formation, the W4P variant demonstrated significantly higher activity. NIH3T3 cells expressing variant LHB, but not the WT, induced tumor in a nude mouse model. Tumor masses produced by variant LHB were significantly larger in male than female mice, and significantly reduced by estrogen. IL-6, but not tumor necrosis factor-¿, was elevated in male mice harboring W4P-induced tumor, and was reduced by estrogen. IL-6 levels of HCC patients with the W4P variant were significantly higher than those of patients with WT LHB. W4P LHB induced higher production of IL-6 than WT LHB in cell lines, and the level was reduced by estrogen. The ability to reduce cell proliferation and colony formation of W4P LHB was hampered by inhibition of IL-6 signaling.Conclusions This study suggests that the W4P mutation during the natural course of chronic hepatitis B infection may contribute to HCC development, particularly in male patients, in an IL-6-dependent manner.
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    ABSTRACT: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), a highly malignant disease and the third leading cause of all cancer mortalities worldwide, often responses poorly to current treatments and results in dismal outcomes due to frequent chemoresistance and tumor relapse. The heterogeneity of HCC is an important attribute of the disease. It is the outcome of many factors, including the cross-talk between tumor cells within the tumor microenvironment and the acquisition and accumulation of genetic and epigenetic alterations in tumor cells. In addition, there is accumulating evidence in recent years to show that the malignancy of HCC can be attributed partly to the presence of cancer stem cell (CSC). CSCs are capable to self-renew, differentiate and initiate tumor formation. The regulation of the stem cell-like properties by several important signaling pathways have been found to endow the tumor cells with an increased level of tumorigenicity, chemoresistance, and metastatic ability. In this review, we will discuss the recent findings on hepatic CSCs, with special emphasis on their putative origins, relationship with hepatitis viruses, regulatory signaling networks, tumor microenvironment, and how these factors control the stemness of hepatic CSCs. We will also discuss some novel therapeutic strategies targeted at hepatic CSCs for combating HCC and perspectives of future investigation.


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May 28, 2014