Hepatitis B virus x protein induces perinuclear mitochondrial clustering in microtubule- and Dynein-dependent manners.
Kim, S; Kim, HY; Lee, S; Kim, SW; Sohn, S; Kim, K; Cho, H
Journal of virology, 81(4):1714-1726, 2007
Journal of virology
The hepatitis B virus (HBV) X protein (HBx) is thought to play a key role in HBV replication and the development of liver cancer. It became apparent that HBx induces mitochondrial clustering at the nuclear periphery, but the molecular basis for mitochondrial clustering is not understood. Since mitochondria move along the cytoskeleton as a cargo of motor proteins, we hypothesized that mitochondrial clustering induced by HBx occurs by an altered intracellular motility. Here, we demonstrated that the treatment of HBx-expressing cells with a microtubule-disrupting drug (nocodazole) abrogated mitochondrial clustering, while the removal of nocodazole restored clustering within 30 to 60 min, indicating that mitochondrial transport is occurring in a microtubule-dependent manner. The addition of a cytochalasin D-disrupting actin filament, however, did not measurably affect mitochondrial clustering. Mitochondrial clustering was further studied by observations of HBV-related hepatoma cells and HBV-replicating cells. Importantly, the abrogation of the dynein activity in HBx-expressing cells by microinjection of a neutralizing anti-dynein intermediate-chain antibody, dynamitin overexpression, or the addition of a dynein ATPase inhibitor significantly suppressed the mitochondrial clustering. In addition, HBx induced the activation of the p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and inhibition of the p38 kinase activity by SB203580-attenuated HBx-induced mitochondrial clustering. Taken together, HBx activation of the p38 MAPK contributed to the increase in the microtubule-dependent dynein activity. The data suggest that HBx plays a novel regulatory role in subcellular transport systems, perhaps facilitating the process of maturation and/or assembly of progeny particles during HBV replication. Furthermore, mitochondrion aggregation induced by HBx may represent a cellular process that underlies disease progression during chronic viral infection.
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