Send to

Choose Destination
Oncogene. 2001 Jun 7;20(26):3323-31.

The hepatitis B virus HBx protein induces adherens junction disruption in a src-dependent manner.

Author information

Unidad de Biología Molecular and Servicio de Inmunología, Hospital Universitario de la Princesa, Diego de León, 62, 28006 Madrid, Spain.


Chronic hepatitis B virus infection is strongly associated with the development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Epithelial tumors are frequently characterized by loss of cadherin expression or function. Cadherin-dependent adhesion prevents the acquisition of a migratory and invasive phenotype, and loss of its function is itself enough for the progression from adenoma to carcinoma. The HBx protein of hepatitis B virus is thought to contribute to the development of the carcinoma, however, its role in the oncogenic and metastatic processes is far from being fully understood. We report herein the ability of HBx to disrupt intercellular adhesion in three different cell lines stably transfected with an inducible HBx expression vector. The linkage between the actin cytoskeleton and cadherin complex, which is essential for its function, is disrupted in the presence of HBx, as indicated by detergent solubility and immunoprecipitation experiments. In addition, beta-catenin was tyrosine phosphorylated in HBx-expressing cells. Inhibition of the src family of tyrosine kinases resulted in the prevention of the disruption of adherens junctions. These results suggest that HBx is able to disrupt intercellular adhesion in a src-dependent manner, and provide a novel mechanism by which HBx may contribute to the development of HCC.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group
Loading ...
Support Center