Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Mol Cell Biol. 1993 Jan;13(1):443-8.

Hepatocyte-specific expression of the hepatitis B virus core promoter depends on both positive and negative regulation.

Author information

  • 1Department of Microbiology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles 90033.


The core promoter of hepatitis B virus shows hepatocyte specificity, which is largely dependent on an upstream regulatory sequence that overlaps with viral enhancer II. Footprint analyses by numerous groups have shown binding by cellular proteins over a large stretch of DNA in this region, but the identity of these proteins and their role in core promoter function remain largely unknown. We present data showing that the transcription factor HNF-4 is one such factor, as it activates the core promoter approximately 20-fold via a binding site within the upstream regulatory sequence. Since HNF-4 is enriched in hepatocytes, its involvement at least partially explains the hepatocyte specificity of this promoter. In addition, however, we have found a region upstream of the HNF-4 site that suppresses activation by HNF-4 in HeLa cells but not in hepatoma cells. Therefore, the cell type specificity of the core promoter appears to result from a combination of activation by one or more factors specifically enriched in hepatocytes and repression by some other factor(s) present in nonhepatocytes, and it may provide a convenient model system for studying this type of tissue-specific transcriptional regulation in mammalian cells.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk