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The hepatitis B virus pre-core protein p22 activates Wnt sgnaling

Tran, Bang Manh, Flanagan, Dustin James, Ebert, Gregor, Warner, Nadia, Tran, Hoanh, Fifis, Theodora, Kastrappis, Georgios, Christophi, Christopher, Pellegrini, Marc, Torresi, Joseph, Phesse, Toby James and Vincan, Elizabeth 2020. The hepatitis B virus pre-core protein p22 activates Wnt sgnaling. Cancers 12 (6) , 1435. 10.3390/cancers12061435

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Abstract

An emerging theme for Wnt-addicted cancers is that the pathway is regulated at multiple steps via various mechanisms. Infection with hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a major risk factor for liver cancer, as is deregulated Wnt signaling, however, the interaction between these two causes is poorly understood. To investigate this interaction, we screened the effect of the various HBV proteins for their effect on Wnt/β-catenin signaling and identified the pre-core protein p22 as a novel and potent activator of TCF/β-catenin transcription. The effect of p22 on TCF/β-catenin transcription was dose dependent and inhibited by dominant-negative TCF4. HBV p22 activated synthetic and native Wnt target gene promoter reporters, and TCF/β-catenin target gene expression in vivo. Importantly, HBV p22 activated Wnt signaling on its own and in addition to Wnt or β-catenin induced Wnt signaling. Furthermore, HBV p22 elevated TCF/β-catenin transcription above constitutive activation in colon cancer cells due to mutations in downstream genes of the Wnt pathway, namely APC and CTNNB1. Collectively, our data identifies a previously unappreciated role for the HBV pre-core protein p22 in elevating Wnt signaling. Understanding the molecular mechanisms of p22 activity will provide insight into how Wnt signaling is fine-tuned in cancer.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
European Cancer Stem Cell Research Institute (ECSCRI)
Publisher: MDPI
ISSN: 2072-6694
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 10 August 2020
Date of Acceptance: 27 May 2020
Last Modified: 12 Aug 2020 13:45
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/134109

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