Role of hepatitis B virus e protein and core protein in hepatocarcinogenesis Volume 27, issue 6, Novembre-Décembre 2023


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1 Laboratoire de virologie, CHU Angers, F-49000 Angers, France
2 Univ Angers, HIFIH, SFR ICAT, F-49000 Angers, France
* Correspondance : C. Lefeuvre

Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is one of the most common factors associated with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, the pathogenesis of HBV-mediated hepatocarcinogenesis is not clearly defined. Persistence of HBV infection is associated with HCC pathogenesis, and various HBV proteins appear to be involved in promoting this persistence. Currently available data suggest that the core protein, a structural component of the viral nucleocapsid, and the HBe protein, a non-structural HBV protein that can act as both a tolerogen and an immunogen, play a potential role in the development of HCC. Research shows that both proteins are capable of disrupting various pathways involved in liver carcinogenesis, including the sustenance of proliferative signaling, resistance to cell death, tumor-promoting inflammation and avoid immune destruction.

This review summarizes the various signaling pathways by which HBc and HBe proteins (and their precursors) can promote hepatocarcinogenesis.