HBx Protein

HBx is encoded by the smallest HBV ORF and is 154 amino acids in size. It is required for viral infection in vivo [1]. It has been shown to be a key regulator of viral replication, as well as host cell functions, by modulating a wide variety of cellular processes, including transcription, cell cycle progression, DNA damage repair, and apoptosis [2,3]. HBx has been suggested to transactivate a variety of viral and cellular promoters [4]. Its role may be rely on the modification of the cellular environment by transactivating cellular genes in infected hepatocytes to facilitate viral replication. It may also have a role in the pathogenesis of virus-induced hepatocellular carcinoma.


Bibliographic references

  1. Woodchuck hepatitis virus X protein is required for viral infection in vivo.
    Zoulim F., Saputelli J., Seeger C.
    J Virol, 1994, 68(3):2026-2030.

  2. Hepatitis B Virus X Protein: Molecular Functions and Its Role in Virus Life Cycle and Pathogenesis
    Benhenda S., Cougot D., Buendia M.A., Neuveut C.
    Advances in Cancer Research, 2009, 1(4):75-109.

  3. Molecular functions and biological roles of hepatitis B virus x protein.
    Tang H., Oishi N., Kaneko S., Murakami S.
    Cancer Sci, 2006, 97(10):977-983.

  4. The enigmatic X gene of hepatitis B virus.
    Bouchard M.J., Schneider R.J.
    J Virol, 2004, 78(23):12725-12734.

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