DDX3 is a member of the DEAD-box RNA helicase family, involved in mRNA metabolism, including transcription, splicing, and translation. We previously identified DDX3 as a hepatitis B virus (HBV) polymerase (Pol) binding protein, and by using a transient transfection, we found that DDX3 inhibits HBV replication at the posttranscriptional level, perhaps following encapsidation. To determine the exact mechanism of the inhibition, we here employed a diverse HBV experimental system. Inconsistently, we found that DDX3-mediated inhibition occurs at the level of transcription. By using tetracycline-inducible HBV-producing cells, we observed that lentivirus-mediated DDX3 expression led to a reduced level of HBV RNAs. Importantly, knockdown of DDX3 by short hairpin RNA resulted in augmentation of HBV RNAs in two distinct HBV replication systems: (i) tetracyclineinducible HBV-producing cells and (ii) constitutive HBV-producing HepG2.2.15 cells. Moreover, DDX3 knockdown in HBVsusceptible HepG2-NTCP cells, where covalently closed circular DNA (cccDNA) serves as the template for viral transcription, resulted in increased HBV RNAs, validating that transcription regulation by DDX3 occurs on a physiological template. Overall, our results demonstrate that DDX3 represents an intrinsic host antiviral factor that restricts HBV transcription.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Insect Science