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Viruses 2017, 9(4), 69;

Identifying and Characterizing Interplay between Hepatitis B Virus X Protein and Smc5/6

Gilead Sciences, Foster City, CA 94404, USA
Department of Microbiology and Molecular Medicine, University Medical Center (CMU), 1211 Geneva, Switzerland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 February 2017 / Revised: 27 March 2017 / Accepted: 29 March 2017 / Published: 3 April 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Hepatitis B Virus Research)
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Hepatitis B X protein (HBx) plays an essential role in the hepatitis B virus (HBV) replication cycle, but the function of HBx has been elusive until recently. It was recently shown that transcription from the HBV genome (covalently-closed circular DNA, cccDNA) is inhibited by the structural maintenance of chromosome 5/6 complex (Smc5/6), and that a key function of HBx is to redirect the DNA-damage binding protein 1 (DDB1) E3 ubiquitin ligase to target this complex for degradation. By doing so, HBx alleviates transcriptional repression by Smc5/6 and stimulates HBV gene expression. In this review, we discuss in detail how the interplay between HBx and Smc5/6 was identified and characterized. We also discuss what is known regarding the repression of cccDNA transcription by Smc5/6, the timing of HBx expression, and the potential role of HBx in promoting hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). View Full-Text
Keywords: HBx; HBV; DDB1; Smc5/6; cccDNA HBx; HBV; DDB1; Smc5/6; cccDNA

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Livingston, C.M.; Ramakrishnan, D.; Strubin, M.; Fletcher, S.P.; Beran, R.K. Identifying and Characterizing Interplay between Hepatitis B Virus X Protein and Smc5/6. Viruses 2017, 9, 69.

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