Published online Oct 21, 2010. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v16.i39.4932
Revised: June 4, 2010
Accepted: June 11, 2010
Published online: October 21, 2010
AIM: To investigate the role of hepatitis B virus X-protein (HBx)-induced reactive oxygen species (ROS) on liver carcinogenesis in HBx transgenic mice and HepG2-HBx cells.
METHODS: Cell growth rate was analyzed, and through western blotting, mitogenic signaling was observed. Endogenous ROS from wild and HBx transgenic mice and HepG2-Mock and HBx cells were assayed by FACScalibur. Identification of oxidized and reduced phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) was analyzed through N-ethylmaleimide alkylation, nonreducing electrophoresis.
RESULTS: We observed that the cell-proliferation-related phosphoinositide 3-kinase/Akt pathway is activated by HBx in vivo and in vitro. Increased ROS were detected by HBx. Tumor suppressor PTEN, via dephosphorylation of Akt, was oxidized and inactivated by increased ROS. Increased oxidized PTEN activated the mitogenic pathway through over-activated Akt. However, treatment with ROS scavenger N-acetyl cysteine can reverse PTEN to a reduced form. Endogenously produced ROS also stimulated HBx expression.
CONCLUSION: HBx induced ROS promoted Akt pathways via oxidized inactive PTEN. HBx and ROS maintained a positive regulatory loop, which aggravated carcinogenesis.