Aim: Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is highly correlated with hepatocellular carcinoma. Previous studies have reported that expression of hepatitis B virus pre-S2 mutant surface antigen is related to hepatoma development. An aberrant carbohydrate metabolism is a hallmark of malignant transformation.
Methods: We performed yeast two-hybrid screening with HBV pre-S2-del large surface protein (pre-S2Δ) by using human liver cDNA library, and identified the acid alpha-glucosidase (acid α-glucosidase) as the novel cellular interacting protein of pre-S2Δ. The association of pre-S2Δ with the acid α-glucosidase was confirmed by confocal immunofluorescence and co-immunoprecipitation assay. Further, the acid α-glucosidase activity and glycogen content were analyzed in ML-1 cells expressing pre-S2Δ.
Results: The interaction between HBV large surface protein and acid α-glucosidase was demonstrated with co-immunoprecipitation in vitro and in vivo, and the binding was mediated through c-terminal region 889-952 amino acid of acid α-glucosidase. On the other hand, HBV large surface protein interacted with acid α-glucosidase through N-terminal region 1–157 amino acid of HBV large surface protein. Expression of HBV large surface protein enhanced acid α-glucosidase activity and resulted in decrease of cellular glycogen.
Conclusion: Our result demonstrates that HBV large surface protein interacts with acid α-glucosidase which plays an important role in glycogen balance. Together, these data suggest a novel pathway by which HBV large surface protein affects carbohydrate metabolism.