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FEBS Lett. 2002 May 8;518(1-3):169-72.

Cooperative repression of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p21 gene expression by hepatitis B virus X protein and hepatitis C virus core protein.

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Department of Microbiology, College of Natural Sciences, Pusan National University, 609-735, Pusan, South Korea.


Co-infection with hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) is common and is associated with a more severe liver disease and increased frequency in the development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Here, we demonstrated that HBV X protein (HBx) and HCV core protein additively repress the universal cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p21 gene at the transcription level. The transforming growth factor-beta responsive element and Sp1 site of the p21 promoter were responsible for the effect of HCV core and HBx, respectively. Furthermore, cell growth was additively stimulated by them, suggesting that additive repression of the p21 might be important to understand the cooperative development of HCC by HBV and HCV.

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