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J Virol. 2000 Feb;74(3):1241-51.

Identification of multiple transcription factors, HLF, FTF, and E4BP4, controlling hepatitis B virus enhancer II.

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Department of Internal Medicine and Therapeutics, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan.


Hepatitis B virus (HBV) enhancer II (EnII) is a hepatotropic cis element which is responsible for the hepatocyte-specific gene expression of HBV. Multiple transcription factors have been demonstrated to interact with this region. In this study, the region from HBV nucleotides (nt) 1640 to 1663 in EnII was demonstrated to be essential for enhancer activity and to be another target sequence of putative transcription factors. To elucidate the factors which bind to this region, we used a yeast one-hybrid screening system and cloned three transcription factors, HLF, FTF, and E4BP4, from a human adult liver cDNA library. All of these factors had binding affinity to the sequence from nt 1640 to 1663. Investigation of the effects of these factors on transcriptional regulation revealed that HLF and FTF had stimulatory activity on nt 1640 to 1663, whereas E4BP4 had a suppressing effect. FTF coordinately activated both 3. 5-kb RNA and 2.4/2.1-kb RNA transcription in a transient transfection assay with an HBV expression vector. HLF, however, activated only 3.5-kb RNA transcription, and in primer extension analysis, HLF strongly stimulated the synthesis of pregenome RNA compared to precore RNA. Thus, FTF stimulated the activity of the second enhancer, while HLF stimulated the activity of the core upstream regulatory sequence, which affects only the core promoter, and had a dominant effect on the pregenome RNA synthesis.

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