BST-2/tetherin is an interferon-inducible antiviral protein that blocks the release of various enveloped viruses, including HIV-1. Hepatitis B virus (HBV), a major cause of liver disease, belongs to the Hepadnaviridae family of enveloped DNA viruses. Whether BST-2 regulates HBV production is largely unknown. In this report, we have demonstrated that HBV particle release is modulated by BST-2 in a cell type-dependent fashion. In HEK293T cells, ectopically expressed or interferon-induced BST-2 strongly inhibited HBV release. BST-2 co-localized with HBV surface protein at multivesicular bodies (MVBs) and physically interacted with HBV particles. However, exogenous BST-2-induced HBV restriction was weak in Huh-7 hepatoma cells, and the interferon-induced anti-HBV effect was independent of BST-2 induction in hepatic L02 cells. Notably, HBV could promote HIV-1 I "Vpu virus release from BST-2-positive HepG2 hepatoma cells but not HeLa cells, whereas Vpu failed to efficiently inhibit BST-2-induced HBV restriction. HBx exhibited an enhanced interaction and co-localization with BST-2 in hepatocytes. These observations indicate that BST-2 restricts HBV production at intracellular MVBs but is inactivated by HBV through a novel mechanism requiring hepatocyte-specific cellular co-factors or a hepatocyte-specific environment. Further understanding of BST-2-induced HBV restriction may provide new therapeutic targets for future HBV treatments.
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