Virologica Sinica

, Volume 30, Issue 2, pp 85–91 | Cite as

Genetic and epigenetic alterations in hepatitis B virus-associated hepatocellular carcinoma

Review

Abstract

Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a major cause of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Its chronic infection can lead to chronic liver inflammation and the accumulation of genetic alterations to result in the oncogenic transformation of hepatocytes. HBV can also sensitize hepatocytes to oncogenic transformation by causing genetic and epigenetic changes of the host chromosomes. HBV DNA can insert into host chromosomes and recent large-scale whole-genome sequencing studies revealed recurrent HBV DNA integrations sites that may play important roles in the initiation of hepatocellular carcinogenesis. HBV can also cause epigenetic changes by altering the methylation status of cellular DNA, the post-translational modification of histones, and the expression of microRNAs. These changes can also lead to the eventual hepatocellular transformation. These recent findings on the genetic and epigenetic alterations of the host chromosomes induced by HBV opened a new avenue for the development of novel diagnosis and treatments for HBV-induced HCC.

Keywords

hepatitis B virus (HBV) hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) genetic alterations epigenetic regulations HCC-associated microRNAs 

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Copyright information

© Wuhan Institute of Virology, CAS and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Molecular Microbiology and ImmunologyUniversity of Southern California Keck School of MedicineLos AngelesUSA

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