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Zhonghua Gan Zang Bing Za Zhi. 2014 Mar;22(3):213-8. doi: 10.3760/cma.j.issn.1007-3418.2014.03.014.

[Role of tumor necrosis factor-alpha in the anti-HBV activity of tetracycline].

[Article in Chinese]

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  • 1Department of Infectious Disease, the Second Affiliated Hospital, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing 400010, China.



To study the role of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFalpha) in the anti-replication effects of tetracycline (Tet) on hepatitis B virus (HBV).


The Tet-dependent regulatory fragment (TO) was PCR amplified from the pcDNA4TM/TO vector, inserted into the pUC118 cloning vector, and verified by sequencing. The counterpart fragment in the pVITRO3 expression vector, which contains two multiple cloning sites (MCSs), was replaced with the confirmed TO to generate a pVITRO3-TO vector. The Tet repressor (TR) gene from the pcDNA6/TR regulatory vector was incorporated into one MCS of pVITRO3-TO and the TNFalpha gene was subsequently incorporated into the other MCS. The resultant vector, pVITRO3-TOTR-TNFalpha, was transiently transfected into HepG2 cells. TNFalpha expression from the vector was induced by exposure to various concentrations of Tet and measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay to determine the appropriate Tet concentration for experimentation. To investigate whether Tet inhibits TNFalpha expression as a mechanism of its anti-replication activity against HBV, the HepG2.2.15 cell line stably transfected with pVITRO3-TOTR-TNFalpha was used as an HBV replication model. Levels of hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) and hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) were detected by immunoassay. HBV DNA level was detected by fluorescence quantitative PCR.


The TNFalpha expression from the newly constructed pVITRO3-TOTR-TNFalpha vector was Tet-controllable in the eukaryotic cells examined. The optimal concentration of Tet for the experimental system was 1.0 mug/ml. HBsAg and HBeAg expression was down-regulated in the HepG2.2.15 cells stably transfected with the pVITRO3-TO-TR-TNFalpha vector. After incubation with Tet for 1, 3 and 5 days, the inhibition rate of HBsAg was 2%, 1.1% and 0, compared to 14.8%, 11.5% and 28.4% in the non-Tet control group. The corresponding inhibition rates of HBeAg were 50.0%, 26.7% and 47.9%, compared to 0.3%, 1.6% and 0.0%, in the control group. HBV DNA levels in the cells and the cell culture supernatants exposed to Tet were decreased by 70.3% and 79.9%, respectively. TNFalpha inhibited production of HBsAg mRNA.


A Tet-dependent regulatory fragment double-expressing TNFalpha single vector system was constructed successfully, achieving controllable TNFalpha expression in both transiently transfected eukaryotic cells and stable cell lines. In this HBV cell model system, Tet-induced overexpression of human TNFalpha inhibited HBV DNA replication and reduced HBsAg and HBeAg expression. Inhibition of HBV transcription may be a key role of TNFalpha against HBV replication.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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