[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a new class of well-conserved small noncoding RNAs that mediate posttranscriptional gene regulation. Hepatitis B virus (HBV) causes various liver diseases, including chronic hepatitis, liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular cancer. Recent data have indicated HBV alters miRNAs expression patterns, but the underlying mechanisms have not been fully established so far. Here, we provide a hypothesis that HBV alters the expressions of miRNAs by playing a role in the microRNA production process. In this study, we demonstrate that HBV downregulates miRNAs processor DGCR8 mRNA and protein expression in stable and transient HBV-expressing cells. HBV downregulates DGCR8 expression by inhibiting its promoter activity, and HBs and HBx may be involved in this process. Ectopic expression and knockdown of YY1 revealed that YY1 suppresses the activity of the DGCR8 promoter, while YY1 expression is significantly upregulated by HBV. In conclusion, our data show that HBV proteins repress DGCR8 promoter activity by upregulating the expression of transcription factor YY1. This provides a new insight into the mechanism of HBV-induced miRNA dysregulation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Drosha regulates the biogenesis of microRNAs (miRNAs) and plays an essential role in the regulation of gene expression. Infection with hepatitis B virus (HBV) causes chronic hepatitis and liver cirrhosis. It is also a major risk factor for hepatocellular carcinoma. Emerging evidence suggests that HBV alters miRNA expression profiles, but the mechanisms underlying this process have not yet been fully elucidated. We therefore examined how HBV affected the production of miRNAs. We found that Drosha mRNA and protein expression were downregulated in cells expressing the HBV genome. This was associated with a reduction in the activity of the Drosha gene promoter. Gene silencing of HBx by RNA interference significantly restored the expression of Drosha. In conclusion, our data show that HBV could downregulate Drosha expression by inhibiting promoter activity, and the transcription factors SP1 and AP-2α may be involved in this process. This provides a new understanding of the mechanism of HBV-induced miRNAs dysregulation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Raf1 kinase is a central component of many signaling pathways that are involved in normal cell growth and oncogenic transformation. The expression of Raf1 is significantly increased in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). HBV is a major risk factor for HCC. HBx protein can increase the expression of Raf1; however, the mechanism of how HBV regulates Raf1 expression is still unknown. In this study, we showed the Raf1 expression was significantly higher in HepG2.2.15 cells than that in HepG2 cells in vitro. HBV could up-regulate Raf1 expression by enhancing the activity of its promoter in a dose-dependent manner, and HBs and HBx may be involved in this process. After silencing HBs and HBx by using RNA interference, the expression of Raf1 in HepG2.2.15 cells could be significantly inhibited. These results might provide useful information for understanding the mechanism of HCC induced by HBV infection.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: The hepatitis B virus (HBV) protein plays a major role in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) development. However, its contribution to tumor invasion and metastasis has not been established so far. HLJ1 was recently cloned and classified as a member of the heat shock protein 40 family (Hsp40/DnaJ) which is abundantly expressed in HBV-related tumors, might be involved in tumor progression. In this study, the role of HBV in activation of HLJ1 was investigated. In HepG2 cells with transit or stable expression of HBV, HLJ1 expression was activated by HBV. The activity assay of HLJ1 promoter revealed that HBV up-regulated HLJ1 expression through the transcription factor YY1 sites within the HLJ1 promoter. YY1 expression was significantly up-regulated by HBV in a concentration-dependent manner. Knockdown of YY1 expression could partially reduce the HBV-induced HLJ1 activation which indicated that YY1 would be involved in HBV-induced HLJ1 expression. In conclusion, our data showed that HBV could promote HLJ1 expression by up-regulating the transcription factor YY1, and this provided a new insight of the mechanism of HBV induction in tumor metastasis.