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Lack of a role of the interferon-stimulated response element-like region in interferon alpha -induced suppression of Hepatitis B virus in vitro

Rang, A.; Heise, T.; Will, H.

Journal of Biological Chemistry 276(5): 3531-3535

2001


ISSN/ISBN: 0021-9258
PMID: 11106638
DOI: 10.1074/jbc.c000584200
Accession: 046512999

The antiviral effect of interferon-alpha (IFNalpha) on hepatitis B virus (HBV) is well documented in vitro and in vivo, but the mechanisms involved are elusive. Recently, an interferon-stimulated response like element (ISRE) competent for binding of interferon-stimulated gene factor-3gamma (p48) has been identified in the HBV enhancer I region. Mutation of this element was shown to abrogate IFNalpha-mediated reduction of HBV X-gene promoter-driven reporter gene expression. This suggested a role of the ISRE and of p48 in IFNalpha-induced antiviral activity against productive HBV infection. Here, we analyzed the antiviral effect of both IFNalpha and enhanced p48 expression on complete HBV genomes containing the wild-type or mutated ISRE. In human hepatoma cells transfected with both genomes, viral RNA and replicative intermediates were reduced by IFNalpha treatment to a similar degree. Enhanced p48 expression increased IFNalpha-induced suppression of HBV RNA significantly from 75 +/- 22.5% to 46 +/- 9.8%, but this was independent of the integrity of the ISRE-like region. These data imply that p48 neither mediates the antiviral activity of IFNalpha against HBV nor down-regulates enhancer I activity by binding directly to the HBV ISRE-like region, but rather argue for an indirect role of p48.

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