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Virology. 1994 Nov 15;205(1):127-32.

Regulation of hepatitis B virus ENI enhancer activity by hepatocyte-enriched transcription factor HNF3.

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


Hepatitis B virus (HBV) ENI enhancer can activate the expression of HBV and non-HBV genes in a liver-specific manner. By performing the electrophoretic mobility-shift assays, we demonstrated that the three related, liver-enriched, transcription factors, HNF3 alpha, HNF3 beta, and HNF3 gamma could all bind to the 2c site of HBV ENI enhancer. Mutations introduced in the 2c site to abolish the binding by HNF3 reduced the enhancer activity approximately 15-fold. Moreover, expression of HNF3 antisense sequences to suppress the expression of HNF3 in Huh-7 hepatoma cells led to reduction of the ENI enhancer activity. These results indicate that HNF3 positively regulates the ENI enhancer activity and this regulation is most likely mediated through the 2c site. The requirement of HNF3 for the ENI enhancer activity could explain the liver specificity of this enhancer element.

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