1887

Abstract

Previous reports have demonstrated that hepatitis B virus (HBV) X protein (HBx) represses E-cadherin expression to induce epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT), an essential component of cancer progression to more aggressive phenotypes characterized by tumour invasion, migration and metastasis; however, the underlying mechanism for this phenomenon is still unclear. In this study, we found that ectopic expression of HBx in human hepatocytes using overexpression and 1.2-mer WT HBV replicon systems upregulated levels of the transcriptional repressors E12 and E47, resulting in inactivation of the E-cadherin promoter, containing three E-box motifs, and subsequent repression of its expression. E12/E47 knockdown using a specific small interfering RNA almost completely abolished the potential of HBx to repress E-cadherin expression. HBx inhibited the ubiquitin-dependent proteasomal degradation of E12/E47 without affecting their expression at the transcriptional level. Upregulation of E12/E47 by HBx ultimately led to EMT in human hepatocytes, as demonstrated by morphological changes, altered protein levels of EMT markers, including E-cadherin, plakoglobin, fibronectin, vimentin and N-cadherin, and increased capacity for cell detachment and migration.

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2016-01-01
2019-12-12
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