Hepatitis B virus (HBV) genome transcription is highly dependent on liver-enriched, metabolic nuclear receptors (NRs).

Among others, NR farnesoid X receptor α (FXRα) enhances HBV core promoter activity and pregenomic RNA synthesis. Interestingly, two food-withdrawal-induced FXRα modulators, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-ɣ coactivator 1α (PGC-1α) and deacetylase SIRT1, have been found to be associated with HBV genomes ex vivo. Whereas PGC-1α induction was shown to increase HBV replication, the effect of SIRT1 on HBV transcription remains unknown. Here, we showed that, in hepatocarcinoma- derived Huh-7 cells, combined activation of FXRα by GW4064 and SIRT1 by activator 3 increased HBV core promoter-controlled luciferase expression by 25-fold, compared with a 10-fold increase with GW4064 alone.

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