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Oncogene. 1992 Aug;7(8):1653-6.

Modification of cyclin A expression by hepatitis B virus DNA integration in a hepatocellular carcinoma.

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  • 1INSERM U75, CHU Necker, Paris, France.


We have previously reported the identification of a hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA integration in an intron of the cyclin A gene in an early hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and the isolation of human cyclin A cDNA. We have now constructed a cDNA library from the tumor and isolated several hybrid HBV-cyclin A cDNAs from it. The hybrid cDNAs encode an HBV-cyclin A fusion protein. In the chimeric protein, the N-terminus of cyclin A, including the signals for cyclin degradation, is deleted and replaced by viral PreS2/S sequences, transcription being initiated from the viral PreS2/S promoter. This chimeric protein is undegradable in an in vitro cyclin degradation assay. Northern blot analyses showed strong expression of the hybrid transcripts in the tumor, while cyclin A- or HBV-specific transcripts were not detected in the non-tumorous liver of the same patient. Thus, HBV DNA integration in the cyclin A gene resulted in a strong expression of hybrid HBV-cyclin A transcripts encoding a stabilized cyclin A. This chimeric protein may play an important role in the development of the tumor.

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