Int J Med Sci 2005; 2(1):30-35. doi:10.7150/ijms.2.30 This issue

Research Paper

High level expression of apoptosis inhibitor in hepatoma cell line expressing Hepatitis B virus

Xuanyong Lu, Matthew Lee, Trang Tran, Timothy Block

Drexel Institute for Biotechnology and Virology Research, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, School of Medicine, Drexel University, Doylestown, PA 18901, USA

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY-NC) License. See for full terms and conditions.
Lu X, Lee M, Tran T, Block T. High level expression of apoptosis inhibitor in hepatoma cell line expressing Hepatitis B virus. Int J Med Sci 2005; 2(1):30-35. doi:10.7150/ijms.2.30. Available from

File import instruction


The serious result of hepatitis B (HBV) virus infection is development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, the reason of development of HCC in HBV infected patients is still unclear. Recently, the suppression of cell apoptosis is found to relate with the development of cell carcinogenesis, therefore, the expression of apoptosis inhibitor in the virus related cancer line such as hepatoma cell line HepG2.215 was investigated. There are at least six Human apoptosis inhibitors (IAP) have been identified now. They are cIAP1, cIAP2, XIAP, NAPI, survivin and pIAP. Using gene-assay technology, we have recently compared the expression of IAPs in the HepG2.215 cells that persistently expresses Hepatitis B virus by integrated HBV genome with its parent cell line HepG2. The results suggest that there was obviously increase of cIAP2 and cIAP1 in the HepG2.215 cells versus HepG2 cells. Those observations imply a possibility of long time HBV infection could induce the over-expressing apoptosis inhibitors, furthermore, causing the liver cancer. The high expression of cIAP1 and cIAP2 in HBV expressing cells was confirmed by RT-PCR and Northern blot analysis. However, we did not find the change of NIAP and suvivin in HepG2.215 cells. In contrast, the expression of XIAP was down in the HepG2.215 cells comparing with HepG2 cells. How HBV triggers the over-expression of apoptosis inhibitor is unclear. Transient transfection of HepG2 cells with the plasmids expressing different HBV proteins such as S, M, L, X and core proteins did not give a decisive conclusion. Further study is going on now.

Keywords: Apoptosis inhibitor, Apoptosis, cancer, Hepatitis B virus, Hepatoma cell