The Mechanism of Hepatitis B Virus X Gene in Promoting Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Author(s): Xinyu Zhou, Donghong Liu, Zishuai Li, Jun Zhao, Shiliang Cai, Guangwen Cao

Primary liver cancer (PLC) was the third leading cause of cancer death worldwide and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) accounts for 75-85% of PLC cases. Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is the major cause of HCC globally. HBV carcinogenesis depends on three factors: viral replication, integration and evolution, and HBV X gene (HBx) plays a major role in these processes. HBx determines HBV replication and is also the main viral gene for integration and evolution. Recently, numerous new carcinogenic mechanisms of HBx, including epigenetic modification, stem-like signal pathway, metabolic regulation, immune suppression, and drug resistance, have being continuously explored. This article reviews the mechanism of HBx and its mutation in the occurrence and development of HCC, in order to provide a reference for a comprehensive understanding of HBV-HCC.

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