Link to bioRxiv paper:
Authors: Lim, C. S., Sozzi, V., Revill, P., Brown, C.
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a major human pathogen that causes liver diseases. The main HBV RNAs are unspliced transcripts that encode the key viral proteins. Recent studies show that some of the HBV spliced transcript isoforms are predictive of liver cancer, yet the roles of these spliced transcripts remain elusive. Furthermore, a total of 9 major HBV genotypes were isolated from discrete geographical regions of the world, it is likely that these genotypes may express a broad variety of spliced transcript isoforms. To systematically study the HBV splice variants, we transfected the human hepatoma cells Huh7 with 4 HBV genotypes (A2, B2, C2, and D3), followed by deep RNA-sequencing. We found that 12-25% of HBV RNAs were splice variants, which were reproducibly detected across independent biological replicates. This accounted for a total of 6 novel and 6 previously identified splice variants. In particular, two highly abundant novel splice variants, in which we called the putative splice variants 1 and 5 (pSP1 and pSP5), were specifically expressed at high levels in genotypes D3 and B2, respectively. In general, the HBV splicing profiles varied across the genotypes except for the known spliced pgRNAs SP1 and SP9, which were present in all 4 major genotypes. Counterintuitively, these singly spliced SP1 and SP9 had a suboptimal 5' splice site, suggesting that splicing of HBV RNAs is tightly controlled by the viral post-transcriptional regulatory RNA element.
Copy rights belong to original authors. Visit the link for more info