[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hepatitis B x antigen, or HBxAg, contributes importantly to the pathogenesis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Given that HBxAg constitutively activates beta-catenin and that upregulated ErbB-2 promotes beta-catenin signaling in other tumor types, experiments were designed to ask whether HBxAg was associated with upregulated expression of ErbB-2. When HBxAg positive and negative HepG2 cells were subjected to proteomics analysis, ErbB-2 was shown to be upregulated in HepG2X but not control cells. ErbB-2 was also strongly upregulated in HB infected liver, and weakly in some HCC nodules, where it correlated with HBxAg expression. Among tumor bearing patients, strong ErbB-2 staining in the liver was associated with dysplasia, and a shorter survival after tumor diagnosis. This implies that elevated ErbB-2 is an early marker of HCC. Treatment of HepG2X cells with ErbB-2 specific siRNA not only reduced ErbB-2 expression, but also reduced the expression of beta-catenin, suggesting that ErbB-2 contributed to the stabilization of beta-catenin. ErbB-2 specific siRNA also partially blocked the ability of HBxAg to promote DNA synthesis and growth of HepG2 cells. These results suggest that ErbB-2/beta-catenin up-regulation contributes importantly to the mechanism of HBxAg mediated hepatocellular growth.
International Journal of Cancer 06/2009; 125(8):1894-901. · 6.20 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The hepatitis B virus (HBV)-encoded X antigen (HBxAg) may contribute to the development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) through the upregulated expression of selected cellular genes. To identify these genes, RNAs isolated from HBxAg-positive and -negative HepG2 cells were compared by PCR select cDNA subtraction. One gene overexpressed in HBxAg-positive cells by Northern and Western blotting is the ribosomal protein S15a. The S15a mRNA is 535 base pairs, encoding a protein 130 amino acids long with a molecular weight of 14.3 kDa. S15a expression was upregulated in HBV-infected livers, where it costained with HBxAg. Overexpression of S15a stimulated cell growth, colony formation in soft agar, and tumor formation in SCID mice. Hence, HBxAg upregulated the expression of S15a, the latter of which participates in the development of HCC, perhaps by altering the integrity of translation.