• Authors: Huang, C. C., Kuo, T. M., Yeh, C. T., Hu, C. P., Chen, Y. L., Tsai, Y. L., Chen, M. L., Chou, Y. C., Chang, C.
  • Year: 2013
  • Journal: Virus Res 174 18-26
  • Applications: in vitro / DNA / jetPEI
  • Cell type: Hep G2
    Description: Human hepatocarcinoma cells


Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is generally classified into eight genotypes (A to H) based on genomic sequence divergence. The sequence variation among the different HBV genotypes suggests that the spliced RNAs should be different from genotype to genotype. However, the cis-acting element involved in the modulation of the distinct expression profiles of spliced HBV RNAs remains unidentified. Moreover, the biological role of splicing in the life cycle of HBV is not yet understood. In this study, spliced RNAs generated from genotypes A and D were carefully characterized in transfected HepG2 cells. The species and frequency of the spliced RNAs were dramatically different in the two genotypes. Of note, a population of multiply spliced RNAs with intron 2067-2350 excision was identified in HBV genotype A-transfected HepG2 cells, but not in genotype D transfected HepG2 cells. Further, we found a single nucleotide difference (2335) located within the polypyrimidine tract of the splice acceptor site 2350 between the two genotypes, and a single base substitution at 2335 was able to convert the splicing pattern of genotype D (or genotype A) to that of genotype A (or genotype D). These findings suggest that different unique splice sites may be preferentially used in different HBV genotypes resulting in distinct populations of spliced RNAs. The possible significance of the distinct spliced RNAs generated from the different HBV genotypes in HBV infection is discussed.