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SOX2 Represses Hepatitis B Virus Replication by Binding to the Viral EnhII/Cp and Inhibiting the Promoter Activation.

Viruses (2020-03-04)
Hua Yang, Jiayin Mo, Qi Xiang, Peiyi Zhao, Yunting Song, Ge Yang, Kailang Wu, Yingle Liu, Weiyong Liu, Jianguo Wu
ABSTRACT

Hepatitis B virus (HBV) replication is controlled by four promoters (preS1, preS2, Cp, and Xp) and two enhancers (EnhI and EnhII). EnhII stimulates Cp activity to regulate the transcriptions of precore, core, polymerase, and pregenomic RNAs, and therefore, EnhII/Cp is essential for the regulation of HBV replication. This study revealed a distinct mechanism underlying the suppression of EnhII/Cp activation and HBV replication. On the one hand, the sex determining region Y box2 (SOX2), a transcription factor, is induced by HBV. On the other hand, SOX2, in turn, represses the expression levels of HBV RNAs, HBV core-associated DNA, hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), and hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg), thereby playing an inhibitory role during HBV replication. Further studies indicated that SOX2 bound to the EnhII/Cp DNA and repressed the promoter activation. With the deletion of the high mobility group (HMG) domain, SOX2 loses the ability to repress EnhII/Cp activation, viral RNA transcription, HBV core-associated DNA replication, HBsAg and HBeAg production, as well as fails to enter the nucleus, demonstrating that the HMG domain is required for the SOX2-mediated repression of HBV replication. Moreover, SOX2 represses HBsAg and HBeAg secretion in BALB/c mice sera, and attenuates HBV 3.5kb RNA transcription and hepatitis B virus core protein (HBc) production in the liver tissues, demonstrating that SOX2 suppresses HBV replication in mice. Furthermore, the results revealed that the HMG domain was required for SOX2-mediated repression of HBV replication in the mice. Taken together, the above facts indicate that SOX2 acts as a new host restriction factor to repress HBV replication by binding to the viral EnhII/Cp and inhibiting the promoter activation through the HMG domain.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
Monoclonal ANTI-FLAG® M2 antibody produced in mouse, 1 mg/mL, clone M2, affinity isolated antibody, buffered aqueous solution (50% glycerol, 10 mM sodium phosphate, and 150 mM NaCl, pH 7.4)
Roche
DIG Northern Starter Kit, suitable for Northern blotting, sufficient for 10 labeling reactions
Millipore
Immobilon-NC Transfer Membrane, 1 roll, 33 cm x 3 m, 0.45 µm pore size, Triton-free, mixed cellulose esters transfer membrane