The absence of up-regulation of telomerase activity during regeneration after partial hepatectomy in hepatitis B virus X gene transgenic mice

Hiroshige Kojima, Kelly D.E. Kaita, Zhenming Xu, James H. Ou, Yuewen Gong, Manna Zhang, Gerald Y. Minuk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations


Background/Aims: Transgenic mice that express HBV X protein (HBx) have increased sensitivity to hepatocarcinogens. In the present study, we hypothesized that HBx interferes with the DNA protective increases in telomerase activity that occur in proliferating hepatocytes. Methods: Male CD-1 mice (4-6/grp) were killed and hepatic telomerase activity measured at 0, 6, 12, 24, 36, 48 h post partial hepatectomy (PHx). Four HBx transgenic mice were killed at 12 h post-PHx when maximum telomerase activity was observed in CD-1 non-transgenic mice. mRNA of the telomerase catalytic subunit; murine telomerase reverse transcriptase (mTERT), was measured by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. Telomerase activity and human TERT (hTERT) were also measured in Chang and PLC/PRF/5 cells following transient transfection with HBx cDNA. Results: Telomerase activity peaked at 12 h post-PHx in normal mice, however, in HBx transgenic mice, telomerase activity was significantly lower, both at baseline (P < 0.05) and 12 h post-PHx (P < 0.01). Following PHx, mTERT mRNA expression remained constant in normal mice but decreased significantly (P < 0.01) in HBx transgenic mice. Transfection of HBx in Chang and PLC/PRF/5 cells had no effect on telomerase activity or hTERT mRNA expression. Conclusions: The results of this study suggest that HBx expression may play a role in hepatocellular carcinogenesis by interfering with telomerase activity during hepatocyte proliferation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)262-268
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Hepatology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 2003
Externally publishedYes



  • HBV X protein
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Murine telomerase reverse transcriptase
  • Telomerase
  • Telomere
  • Transgenic mice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology

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