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Viruses 2017, 9(4), 75; doi:10.3390/v9040075

HBV DNA Integration: Molecular Mechanisms and Clinical Implications

1
Department of Infectious Diseases, Molecular Virology, Heidelberg University, Im Neuenheimer Feld 345, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany
2
Centenary Institute, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2050, Australia
3
Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
4
Liverpool Hospital, Gastroenterology, Sydney, NSW 2170, Australia
5
German Center for Infection Research (DZIF), Heidelberg Partner Site, Im Neuenheimer Feld 345, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Ulrike Protzer and Michael Nassal
Received: 2 March 2017 / Revised: 3 April 2017 / Accepted: 4 April 2017 / Published: 10 April 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Hepatitis B Virus Research)
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Abstract

Chronic infection with the Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) is a major cause of liver-related morbidity and mortality. One peculiar observation in cells infected with HBV (or with closely‑related animal hepadnaviruses) is the presence of viral DNA integration in the host cell genome, despite this form being a replicative dead-end for the virus. The frequent finding of somatic integration of viral DNA suggests an evolutionary benefit for the virus; however, the mechanism of integration, its functions, and the clinical implications remain unknown. Here we review the current body of knowledge of HBV DNA integration, with particular focus on the molecular mechanisms and its clinical implications (including the possible consequences of replication-independent antigen expression and its possible role in hepatocellular carcinoma). HBV DNA integration is likely to influence HBV replication, persistence, and pathogenesis, and so deserves greater attention in future studies. View Full-Text
Keywords: hepatitis B virus; integration; hepatocellular carcinoma; non-homologous end joining; viral persistence hepatitis B virus; integration; hepatocellular carcinoma; non-homologous end joining; viral persistence
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Tu, T.; Budzinska, M.A.; Shackel, N.A.; Urban, S. HBV DNA Integration: Molecular Mechanisms and Clinical Implications. Viruses 2017, 9, 75.

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