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Int J Biol Sci 2016; 12(1):30-41. doi:10.7150/ijbs.12310

Research Paper

Hepatitis B Virus X Protein Upregulates hELG1/ ATAD5 Expression through E2F1 in Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Alip Ghosh1, Suchandrima Ghosh1, Debanjali Dasgupta1, Amit Ghosh1, Somenath Datta1, Nilabja Sikdar2, Simanti Datta1, Abhijit Chowdhury3, Soma Banerjee1✉

1. Centre for Liver Research, School of Digestive and Liver Diseases, Institute of Post Graduate Medical Education and Research, Kolkata, India
2. Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata, India
3. Department of Hepatology, School of Digestive and Liver Diseases, Institute of Post Graduate Medical Education and Research, Kolkata, India

Abstract

The precise mechanism by which HBx protein of hepatitis B virus (HBV) impacts on hepato-carcinogenesis remain largely elusive despite strong evidences for its' involvement in the process. Here, we have investigated the role of HBx on expression of a novel gene hELG1/ATAD5, which is required for genome maintenance and its' importance in hepatocarcinogenesis. This study has for the first time showed that the expression of this gene was significantly higher in human cancer such as HBV-associated hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and in different HCC cell lines compared to normal liver. In addition, a significant elevation in ATAD5 expression was also found in HBx transfected HCC cell lines implicating HBx mediated transcriptional regulation on ATAD5. Using different deletion mutant constructs of putative promoter, the active promoter region was first identified here and subsequently the regulatory region of HBx was mapped by promoter-luciferase assay. But ChIP assay with anti-HBx antibody revealed that HBx was not physically present in ATAD5 transcription machinery whereas anti-E2F1 antibody showed the presence of E2F1 in the complex. Luciferase assay with E2F1 binding site mutant had further confirmed it. Moreover, both loss-and gain-of-function studies of ATAD5 showed that ATAD5 could enhance HBV production in transfected cells whereas knock down of ATAD5 increased the sensitivity of HCC cell line to chemotherapeutics 5-fluorouracil. Overall, this data suggests that a positive feedback loop regulation between ATAD5 and HBV contributed to both viral replication and chemo-resistance of HCC cells.

Keywords: hepatitis B virus, hepatocellular carcinoma

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How to cite this article:
Ghosh A, Ghosh S, Dasgupta D, Ghosh A, Datta S, Sikdar N, Datta S, Chowdhury A, Banerjee S. Hepatitis B Virus X Protein Upregulates hELG1/ ATAD5 Expression through E2F1 in Hepatocellular Carcinoma. Int J Biol Sci 2016; 12(1):30-41. doi:10.7150/ijbs.12310. Available from http://www.ijbs.com/v12p0030.htm