Supportive Role Played by Precore and PreS2 Genomic Changes in the Establishment of Lamivudine-Resistant Hepatitis B Virus

Ohkawa, Kazuyoshi; Takehara, Tetsuo; Kato, Michio; Deguchi, Matsuo; Kagita, Masanori; Hikita, Hayato; Sasakawa, Akira; Kohga, Keisuke; Uemura, Akio; Sakamori, Ryotaro; Yamaguchi, Shinjiro; Miyagi, Takuya; Ishida, Hisashi; Tatsumi, Tomohide; Hayashi, Norio
October 2008
Journal of Infectious Diseases;10/15/2008, Vol. 198 Issue 8, p1150
Academic Journal
Background. Hepatitis B virus (HBV) establishes lamivudine resistance via the resistance-causative rtM204V/I mutation and the replication-compensatory rtL180M mutation. However, both lamivudine-resistant viruses with and those without rtL180M can exist in clinical settings. To elucidate the differences between viruses with and those without rtL180M, we conducted full-length sequencing analysis of HBV derived from patients with type B chronic hepatitis showing lamivudine resistance. Methods. The full-length HBV DNA sequences derived from 44 patients showing lamivudine resistance were determined by polymerase chain reaction direct sequencing. Viral replicative competence was examined by in vitro transfection analysis using various HBV-expressing plasmids. Results. Throughout the HBV genome, a precore-defective A1896 mutation and a short deletion in the preS2 gene were detected more frequently in viruses without rtL180M than in those with it (64% vs. 17% [P <.005] and 50% vs. 10% [P <.01], respectively). In vitro transfection analysis revealed that the level of reduction in intracellular viral replication caused by the introduction of lamivudine resistance-associated mutations was lower in precoredefective and preS2-deleted viruses than in wild-type virus. Conclusions. Both the precore-defective mutation and the preS2 deletion may play a supportive role in the replication of lamivudine-resistant HBV, which may be a reason for there being no need for the compensatory rtL180M mutation in lamivudine-resistant HBV possessing the precore and preS2 genomic changes.


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