Hepatitis B Precore Protein: Pathogenic Potential and Therapeutic Promise
AuthorWalsh, R; Locarnini, S
Source TitleYonsei Medical Journal
PublisherYONSEI UNIV COLL MEDICINE
University of Melbourne Author/sLocarnini, Stephen
AffiliationMicrobiology and Immunology
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsWalsh, R. & Locarnini, S. (2012). Hepatitis B Precore Protein: Pathogenic Potential and Therapeutic Promise. YONSEI MEDICAL JOURNAL, 53 (5), pp.875-885. https://doi.org/10.3349/ymj.2012.53.5.875.
Access StatusOpen Access
Hepatitis B virus (HBV), a small and economically packaged double-stranded DNA virus, represents an enormous global health care burden. In spite of an effective vaccine, HBV is endemic in many countries. Chronic hepatitis B (CHB) results in the development of significant clinical outcomes such as liver disease and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), which are associated with high mortality rates. HBV is a non-cytopathic virus, with the host's immune response responsible for the associated liver damage. Indeed, HBV appears to be a master of manipulating and modulating the immune response to achieve persistent and chronic infection. The HBV precore protein or hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) is a key viral protein involved in these processes, for instance though the down-regulation of the innate immune response. The development of new therapies that target viral proteins, such as HBeAg, which regulates of the immune system, may offer a new wave of potential therapeutics to circumvent progression to CHB and liver disease.
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