Enhancement of hepatitis B virus replication by its X protein in transgenic mice

Zhenming Xu, T. S.Benedict Yen, Lanying Wu, Charles R. Madden, Wenjie Tan, Betty L. Slagle, Jing Hsiung Ou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

124 Scopus citations


Hepatitis B virus (HBV) X gene encodes a multifunctional protein that can regulate cellular signaling pathways, interact with cellular transcription factors, and induce hepatocellular oncogenesis. In spite of its diverse activities, the precise role of the X protein in the viral life cycle of HBV remains unclear. To investigate this question, we have produced transgenic mice that carry either the wild-type HBV genome or a mutated HBV genome incapable of expressing the 16.5-kDa X protein. Our results indicate that while the X protein is not absolutely essential for HBV replication or its maturation in transgenic mice, it can enhance viral replication, apparently by activating viral gene expression. These results demonstrate a transactivation role of the X protein in HBV replication in transgenic mice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2579-2584
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Insect Science
  • Virology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology


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