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FASEB J. 2014 Mar;28(3):1454-63. doi: 10.1096/fj.13-236372. Epub 2013 Dec 2.

The metabolic sensors FXRα, PGC-1α, and SIRT1 cooperatively regulate hepatitis B virus transcription.

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2Centre International de Recherche en Infectiologie, INSERM U1111, 21 Ave. Tony Garnier, 69365 Lyon Cedex 07, France.


Hepatitis B virus (HBV) genome transcription is highly dependent on liver-enriched, metabolic nuclear receptors (NRs). Among others, NR farnesoid X receptor α (FXRα) enhances HBV core promoter activity and pregenomic RNA synthesis. Interestingly, two food-withdrawal-induced FXRα modulators, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ coactivator 1α (PGC-1α) and deacetylase SIRT1, have been found to be associated with HBV genomes ex vivo. Whereas PGC-1α induction was shown to increase HBV replication, the effect of SIRT1 on HBV transcription remains unknown. Here, we showed that, in hepatocarcinoma-derived Huh-7 cells, combined activation of FXRα by GW4064 and SIRT1 by activator 3 increased HBV core promoter-controlled luciferase expression by 25-fold, compared with a 10-fold increase with GW4064 alone. Using cell lines differentially expressing FXRα in overexpression and silencing experiments, we demonstrated that SIRT1 activated the core promoter in an FXRα- and PGC-1α-dependent manner. Maximal activation (>150-fold) was observed in FXRα- and PGC-1α-overexpressing Huh-7 cells treated with FXRα and SIRT1 activators. Similarly, in cells transfected with full-length HBV genomes, maximal induction (3.5-fold) of core promoter-controlled synthesis of 3.5-kb RNA was observed in the same conditions of transfection and treatments. Thus, we identified a subnetwork of metabolic factors regulating HBV replication, strengthening the hypothesis that transcription of HBV and metabolic genes is similarly controlled.


HBV; epigenetic; metabolism; nuclear receptors

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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