Naturally occurring hepatitis B virus mutations leading to endoplasmic reticulum stress and their contribution to the progression of hepatocellular Carcinoma

Yu Min Choi, So Young Lee, Bum Joon Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

4 Scopus citations


Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a global health problem that causes a wide range of pathological outcomes, including cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress induction by HBV infection has been implicated in liver carcinogenesis and disease progression with chronic inflammation via enhanced inflammation, oxidative stress-mediated DNA damage, and hepatocyte proliferation. In the natural course of HBV infection, the accumulation of naturally occurring mutations in the HBV genome can generate several mutant types of HBV-encoded proteins, including three different proteins in the S ORF (SHBs, MHBs, and LHBs) and HBcAg in the C ORF, which could contribute to enhanced ER stress in infected hepatocytes mainly via increased ER accumulation of mutant proteins. However, it seems that there may be distinct capacity and pathway in ER stress-induction and distinct resulting clinical outcomes between HBV variants. In addition, the role of HBxAg mutations in ER stress remains unknown. However, it has been reported that HBxAg itself could exert ER stress in infected cells, resulting in HCC generation in chronic HBV patients. To date, review papers regarding ER stress-mediated HBV mutation have been limited into a specific mutation type: preS2 deletion. So, in this review, we will discuss details about various mutation types in all four regions of the HBV genome (preS1, preS2, S, and C) related to ER stress and their distinct ER stress mechanisms and clinical outcomes in terms of mutation types.

Original languageEnglish
Article number597
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2019



  • Apoptosis
  • ATF6
  • Core mutations
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum stress
  • HBV surface antigen (HBsAg)
  • HBx mutations
  • Hepatitis B virus infection (HBV)
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC)
  • IRE1
  • PERK
  • PreS/S mutations
  • Unfolded protein response (UPR)

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