The metabolic activator FOXO1 binds hepatitis B virus DNA and activates its transcription

Amir Shlomai, Yosef Shaul

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a small DNA virus that targets the liver and infects humans worldwide. Recently we have shown that the metabolic regulator PGC-1α coactivates HBV transcription thereby rendering the virus susceptible to fluctuations in the nutritional status of the liver. PGC-1α coactivation of HBV is mediated through the liver-enriched nuclear receptor HNF4α and through another yet unknown transcription factor(s). Here we show that the forkhead transcription factor FOXO1, a known target for PGC-1α coactivation and a central mediator of glucose metabolism in the liver, binds HBV core promoter and activates its transcription. This activation is further enhanced in the presence of PGC-1α, implying that FOXO1 is a target for PGC-1α coactivation of HBV transcription. Thus, our results identify another key metabolic regulator as an activator of HBV transcription, thereby supporting the principle that HBV gene expression is regulated in a similar way to key hepatic metabolic genes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)544-548
Number of pages5
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number4
StatePublished - 17 Apr 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • FOXO1
  • Hepatitis B virus
  • Metabolism
  • Transcription


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