Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a major risk factor for liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Nevertheless, the molecular mechanism of HBV replication remains elusive. SIRT1 is a class III histone deacetylase that is a structure component of the HBV cccDNA minichromosome. In this study, we found by using microarray-based gene expression profiling analysis that SIRT1 was upregulated in HBV-expressing cells. Gene silencing of SIRT1 significantly inhibited HBV DNA replicative intermediates, 3.5-kb mRNA, and core protein levels. In contrast, the overexpression of SIRT1 augmented HBV replication. Furthermore, SIRT1 enhanced the activity of HBV core promoter by targeting transcription factor AP-1. The c-Jun subunit of AP-1 was bound to the HBV core promoter region, as demonstrated by using a chromatin immunoprecipitation assay. Mutation of AP-1 binding site or knockdown of AP-1 abolished the effect of SIRT1 on HBV replication. Finally, SIRT1 inhibitor sirtinol also suppressed the HBV DNA replicative intermediate, as well as 3.5-kb mRNA. Our study identified a novel host factor, SIRT1, which may facilitate HBV replication in hepatocytes. These data suggest a rationale for the use of SIRT1 inhibitor in the treatment of HBV infection.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science