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Korean J Hepatol > Volume 16(2); 2010 > Article
The Korean Journal of Hepatology 2010;16(2): 112-122.
doi: https://doi.org/10.3350/kjhep.2010.16.2.112
Pro-apoptotic function of hepatitis B virus X protein
Kyun-Hwan Kim, Ph.D.
Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine and Center for Cancer Research and Diagnostic Medicine, IBST, Konkuk University, Seoul, Korea
Infection of hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a main cause of liver diseases including hepatitis, cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Among the HBV-encoded proteins, the HBV X protein (HBx) has been suspected to be strongly involved in HBV-associated liver pathogenesis. HBx, a virally encoded multifunctional regulator, has been shown to induce apoptosis, anti-apoptosis, proliferation, and transformation of cells depending on the cell lines, model systems used, assay protocols, and research groups. Among the several activities of HBx, the pro-apoptotic function of HBx will be discussed in this review. Given that the disruption of apoptosis pathway by HBx contributes to the liver pathogenesis, a better understanding of the molecular interference in the cellular pro-apoptotic networks by HBx will provide useful clues for the intervention in HBV-mediated liver diseases.
KeyWords: Hepatitis B virus; X protein; Apoptosis; Hepatocellular carcinoma
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