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Kenichi Morikawa, Tomoe Shimazaki, Rei Takeda, Takaaki Izumi, Machiko Umumura, Naoya Sakamoto
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a serious health threat around the world. Despite the availability of an effective hepatitis B vaccine, the number of HBV carriers is estimated to be as high as 240 million worldwide. Global mortality due to HBV-related liver diseases such as chronic hepatitis, liver cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) may be as high as 1 million deaths per year. HBV is transmitted via blood and body fluids, and is much more infectious than both human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis C virus...
September 2016: Annals of Translational Medicine
Yuchen Xia, Arnaud Carpentier, Xiaoming Cheng, Peter Daniel Block, Yao Zhao, Zhensheng Zhang, Ulrike Protzer, T Jake Liang
BACKGROUND AND AIMS: One major obstacle of hepatitis B virus (HBV) research is the lack of efficient cell culture system permissive for viral infection and replication. The aim of our study was to establish a robust HBV infection model by using hepatocyte-like cells (HLCs) derived from human pluripotent stem cells. METHODS: HLCs were differentiated from human embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells. Maturation of hepatocyte functions was determined...
October 13, 2016: Journal of Hepatology
Thomas Schluep, Jason Lickliter, James Hamilton, David L Lewis, Ching-Lung Lai, Johnson Yn Lau, Stephen A Locarnini, Robert G Gish, Bruce D Given
ARC-520 Injection, an RNA interference drug for the treatment of hepatitis B that targets cccDNA-derived viral mRNA transcripts with high specificity, effectively reduces the production of viral proteins and HBV DNA. In this phase I, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 54 healthy volunteers (half male, half female) received a single, intravenous dose of 0.01-4.0 mg/kg ARC-520 Injection (N = 36) or placebo (N = 18). Assessments included safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics (cytokines and complement)...
October 14, 2016: Clinical Pharmacology in Drug Development
Ling-Bo Liang, Xia Zhu, Li-Bo Yan, Ling-Yao Du, Cong Liu, Juan Liao, Hong Tang
BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to determine the role of baseline hepatitis B virus (HBV) forming covalently closed circular DNA (HBV cccDNA) in liver inflammation in patients infected with HBV with serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels under two times the upper limit of normal (2×ULN). METHODS: After liver biopsy and serum virological and biochemical marker screening, patients diagnosed with chronic HBV infection with serum ALT levels under 2×ULN and histological liver inflammation of less than grade G2 were prospectively recruited into this study...
September 26, 2016: International Journal of Infectious Diseases: IJID
Tetsushi Sakuma, Keiichi Masaki, Hiromi Abe-Chayama, Keiji Mochida, Takashi Yamamoto, Kazuaki Chayama
CRISPR-Cas9-mediated genome-editing technology contributes not only to basic genomic studies but also to clinical studies such as genetic correction and virus inactivation. Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a major target for potential application of CRISPR-Cas9 in eliminating viral DNA from human cells. However, the high stability of covalently closed circular DNA (cccDNA) makes it difficult to completely clear HBV infection. Here, we report highly multiplexed CRISPR-Cas9-nuclease and Cas9-nickase vector systems that simultaneously target three critical domains of the HBV genome...
September 23, 2016: Genes to Cells: Devoted to Molecular & Cellular Mechanisms
Ching-Lung Lai, Danny Wong, Philip Ip, Malgorzata Kopaniszen, Wai-Kay Seto, James Fung, Fung-Yu Huang, Brian Lee, Giuseppe Cullaro, Chun Kong Chong, Ringo Wu, Charles Cheng, John Yuen, Vincent Ngai, Man-Fung Yuen
BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Hepatitis B virus (HBV) covalently closed circular DNA (cccDNA), a minichromosome essential for HBV replication, is supposed to be resistant to nucleos(t)ide analogue treatment. We investigated the effect of long-term nucleos(t)ide analogue treatment on cccDNA. METHODS: Among 129 patients who had been enrolled in previous international nucleos(t)ide analogue clinical trials and had liver biopsies at baseline and one year after treatment, we recruited 43 patients on long-term continuous treatment for 72 to 145 months for a third liver biopsy...
September 14, 2016: Journal of Hepatology
Peter Revill, Stephen Locarnini
It has been over 50 years since the discovery of hepatitis B virus (HBV), yet 240 million people worldwide live with chronic HBV, resulting in up to 800000 deaths per year. A cure is yet to be achieved, due largely to a viral nuclear reservoir of transcriptionally active covalently closed circular DNA (cccDNA). While current antiviral therapies are effective at reducing viral replication, they have no impact on the existing cccDNA reservoir. Identifying mechanisms to either eliminate (complete cure) or inactivate (functional cure) HBV cccDNA are a major focus of HBV research worldwide...
September 15, 2016: Current Opinion in Pharmacology
Bidisha Mitra, Haitao Guo
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
September 17, 2016: Hepatology: Official Journal of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases
Christopher M Murphy, Yanping Xu, Feng Li, Kouki Nio, Natalia Reszka-Blanco, Xiaodong Li, Yaxu Wu, Yanbao Yu, Yue Xiong, Lishan Su
The hepatitis B virus (HBV) regulatory protein X (HBx) activates gene expression from the HBV covalently closed circular DNA (cccDNA) genome. Interaction of HBx with the DDB1-CUL4-ROC1 (CRL4) E3 ligase is critical for this function. Using substrate-trapping proteomics, we identified the structural maintenance of chromosomes (SMC) complex proteins SMC5 and SMC6 as CRL4(HBx) substrates. HBx expression and HBV infection degraded the SMC5/6 complex in human hepatocytes in vitro and in humanized mice in vivo. HBx targets SMC5/6 for ubiquitylation by the CRL4(HBx) E3 ligase and subsequent degradation by the proteasome...
September 13, 2016: Cell Reports
Doo Hyun Kim, Hong Seok Kang, Kyun-Hwan Kim
Approximately 350 million people are estimated to be persistently infected with hepatitis B virus (HBV) worldwide. HBV maintains persistent infection by employing covalently closed circular DNA (cccDNA), a template for all HBV RNAs. Chronic hepatitis B (CHB) patients are currently treated with nucleos(t)ide analogs such as lamivudine, adefovir, entecavir, and tenofovir. However, these treatments rarely cure CHB because they are unable to inhibit cccDNA transcription and inhibit only a late stage in the HBV life cycle (the reverse transcription step in the nucleocapsid)...
August 21, 2016: World Journal of Gastroenterology: WJG
Camilla Lamb, Patrick Arbuthnot
INTRODUCTION: Chronic infection with hepatitis B virus (HBV) is endemic to several populous parts of the world, where resulting complicating cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma occur commonly. Licensed drugs to treat the infection have limited curative efficacy, and development of therapies that eliminate all replication intermediates of HBV is a priority. AREAS COVERED: The recent demonstration that the activation of the innate immune response may eradicate HBV from infected hepatocytes has a promising therapeutic application...
September 7, 2016: Expert Opinion on Biological Therapy
Chunlan Liu, Dawei Cai, Lin Zhang, Wei Tang, Ran Yan, Haitao Guo, Xulin Chen
The development of new agents to target HBV cccDNA is urgently needed because of the limitations of current available drugs for treatment of hepatitis B. By using a cell-based assay in which the production of HBeAg is in a cccDNA-dependent manner, we screened a compound library derived from Chinese herbal remedies for inhibitors against HBV cccDNA. Three hydrolyzable tannins, specifically punicalagin, punicalin and geraniin, emerged as novel anti-HBV agents. These compounds significantly reduced the production of secreted HBeAg and cccDNA in a dose-dependent manner in our assay, without dramatic alteration of viral DNA replication...
October 2016: Antiviral Research
Timothy Dreyer, Samantha Nicholson, Abdullah Ely, Patrick Arbuthnot, Kristie Bloom
Chronic infection with hepatitis B virus (HBV) remains an important global health problem. Currently licensed therapies have modest curative efficacy, which is as a result of their transient effects and limited action on the viral replication intermediate comprising covalently closed circular DNA (cccDNA). Gene editing with artificial HBV-specific endonucleases and use of artificial activators of the RNA interference pathway have shown anti-HBV therapeutic promise. Although results from these gene therapies are encouraging, maximizing durable antiviral effects is important...
September 30, 2016: Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
James Fung
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
August 30, 2016: Liver Transplantation
Hao Li, Chunyu Sheng, Hongbo Liu, Guangze Liu, Xinying Du, Juan Du, Linsheng Zhan, Peng Li, Chaojie Yang, Lihua Qi, Jian Wang, Xiaoxia Yang, Leili Jia, Jing Xie, Ligui Wang, Rongzhang Hao, Dongping Xu, Yigang Tong, Yusen Zhou, Jianjun Zhou, Yansong Sun, Qiao Li, Shaofu Qiu, Hongbin Song
Chronic hepatitis B infection remains incurable because HBV cccDNA can persist indefinitely in patients recovering from acute HBV infection. Given the incidence of HBV infection and the shortcomings of current therapeutic options, a novel antiviral strategy is urgently needed. To inactivate HBV replication and destroy the HBV genome, we employed genome editing tool CRISPR/Cas9. Specifically, we found a CRISPR/Cas9 system (gRNA-S4) that effectively targeted the HBsAg region and could suppress efficiently viral replication with minimal off-target effects and impact on cell viability...
2016: International Journal of Biological Sciences
Ashish Goyal, John M Murray
Cell-free virus is a well-recognized and efficient mechanism for the spread of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection in the liver. Cell-to-cell transmission (CCT) can be a more efficient means of virus propagation. Despite experimental evidence implying CCT occurs in HBV, its relative impact is uncertain. We develop a 3-D agent-based model where each hepatocyte changes its viral state according to a dynamical process driven by cell-free virus infection, CCT and intracellular replication. We determine the relative importance of CCT in the development and resolution of acute HBV infection in the presence of cytolytic (CTL) and non-CTL mechanisms...
2016: PloS One
Qin Wang, Luan Lin, Seungyeul Yoo, Wenhui Wang, Sima Blank, M Isabel Fiel, Hena Kadri, Wei Luan, Leslie Warren, Jun Zhu, Spiros P Hiotis
BACKGROUND: This study aims to determine the impact of intracellular hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA, covalently closed circular DNA (cccDNA) and viral replicative activity in both tumour and non-neoplastic liver on prognosis and to determine the relationship of viral replicative activity and Ishak fibrosis in predicting outcome following resection. METHODS: A total of 99 prospectively enrolled patients treated with primary liver resection for HBV-HCC are included. Intracellular HBV DNA and cccDNA were quantitated by real-time PCR...
September 27, 2016: British Journal of Cancer
Tomohisa Tanaka, Kaori Okuyama-Dobashi, Shuko Murakami, Wenjia Chen, Toru Okamoto, Keiji Ueda, Takamitsu Hosoya, Yoshiharu Matsuura, Akihide Ryo, Yasuhito Tanaka, Masatoshi Hagiwara, Kohji Moriishi
Current therapies for hepatitis B virus (HBV) cannot completely eliminate the HBV genome because of the stable population of covalently closed circular DNA (cccDNA) and so on. FIT-039, which is a cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) 9 inhibitor, is known to suppress the replication of several DNA viruses including HSV, HPV and human adenovirus. In this study, we investigated the antiviral effect of FIT-039 on HBV infection. HepG2 cells expressing human sodium taurocholate cotransporting polypeptide (HepG2/NTCP cells) were infected with HBV in the presence of FIT-039...
September 2016: Antiviral Research
Kazuto Tajiri, Yukihiro Shimizu
About 250 to 350 million people worldwide are chronically infected with hepatitis B virus (HBV), and about 700000 patients per year die of HBV-related cirrhosis or hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Several anti-viral agents, such as interferon and nucleos(t)ide analogues (NAs), have been used to treat this disease. NAs especially have been shown to strongly suppress HBV replication, slowing the progression to cirrhosis and the development of HCC. However, reactivation of HBV replication often occurs after cessation of treatment, because NAs alone cannot completely remove covalently-closed circular DNA (cccDNA), the template of HBV replication, from the nuclei of hepatocytes...
July 28, 2016: World Journal of Hepatology
Massimo Levrero, Barbara Testoni, Fabien Zoulim
Current HBV treatments control replication and liver disease progression in the vast majority of treated patients. However, HBV patients often require lifelong therapies due to the persistence of transcriptionally active viral cccDNA mini-chromosome in the nucleus, which is not directly targeted by current antiviral therapies. A true complete cure of HBV would require clearance of intranuclear cccDNA from all infected hepatocytes. An intermediate but still relevant step forward that would allow treatment cessation would be reaching a functional cure, equivalent to resolved acute infection, with a durable HBsAg loss±anti-HBs seroconversion, undetectable serum DNA and persistence of cccDNA in a transcriptionally inactive status...
June 2016: Current Opinion in Virology
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