HBV HCV co-infection leads to more severe liver diseases including liver cancer than mono-infections. Phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10 (PTEN), a tumor suppressor, inhibits sterol regulatory element binding protein-1 (SREBP-1). In this study, we characterized the effect of the PTEN – SREBP-1 pathway on HBV HCV co-replication in a cellular model. We found that HBV and HCV can co-replicate in Huh-7 cells with no interference. Overexpression of PTEN inhibits, whereas PTEN knockdown enhances, HBV replication as well as HBV and HCV co-replication. Knocking down SREBP-1 decreases HBV replication in an HBx-dependent manner. SREBP-1 knockdown also decreases HCV replication. PTEN knockdown is concomitant with increased nuclear SREBP-1 levels. PTEN and SREBP-1 double knockdown results in intermediate levels of HBV and HCV replication in mono- and co-replication scenarios. Taken together, we demonstrated, for the first time, that the PTEN – SREBP-1 pathway can regulate HBV HCV co-replication.
Wu, Q., Li, Z., & Liu, Q. (2018). An important role of SREBP-1 in HBV and HCV co-replication inhibition by PTEN. Virology, 520, 94–102. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.virol.2018.05.011