Cell-based cccDNA reporter assay combined with functional genomics identifies YBX1 as HBV cccDNA host factor and antiviral candidate target - Archive ouverte du site Alsace Access content directly
Journal Articles Gut Year : 2022

Cell-based cccDNA reporter assay combined with functional genomics identifies YBX1 as HBV cccDNA host factor and antiviral candidate target

Michael Nassal

Abstract

Objectives Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a leading cause of liver disease and hepatocellular carcinoma. A key feature of HBV replication is the synthesis of the covalently close circular (ccc)DNA, not targeted by current treatments and whose elimination would be crucial for viral cure. To date, little is known about cccDNA formation. One major challenge to address this urgent question is the absence of robust models for the study of cccDNA biology. Design We established a cell-based HBV cccDNA reporter assay and performed a loss-of-function screen targeting 239 genes encoding the human DNA damage response machinery. Results Overcoming the limitations of current models, the reporter assay enables to quantity cccDNA levels using a robust ELISA as a readout. A loss-of-function screen identified 27 candidate cccDNA host factors, including Y box binding protein 1 (YBX1), a DNA binding protein regulating transcription and translation. Validation studies in authentic infection models revealed a robust decrease in HBV cccDNA levels following silencing, providing proof-of-concept for the importance of YBX1 in the early steps of the HBV life cycle. In patients, YBX1 expression robustly correlates with both HBV load and liver disease progression. Conclusion Our cell-based reporter assay enables the discovery of HBV cccDNA host factors including YBX1 and is suitable for the characterisation of cccDNA-related host factors, antiviral targets and compounds.

Domains

Virology
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Origin Publication funded by an institution

Dates and versions

hal-03993139 , version 1 (23-03-2023)

Identifiers

Cite

Eloi Verrier, Gaëtan Ligat, Laura Heydmann, Katharina Doernbrack, Julija Miller, et al.. Cell-based cccDNA reporter assay combined with functional genomics identifies YBX1 as HBV cccDNA host factor and antiviral candidate target. Gut, inPress, pp.gutjnl-2020-323665. ⟨10.1136/gutjnl-2020-323665⟩. ⟨hal-03993139⟩
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