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A systematic analysis of the predicted human La protein targets identified a hepatitis B virus infection signature


Gao-Lin Liu, PhD, Department of Pharmacy, First People’s Hospital Affiliated to Shanghai JiaoTong University, 100 Haining Road, Shanghai 200080, China. E-mail:


Summary.  The human La (hLa) protein functions in RNA metabolism and is activated by casein kinase 2 (CK2) phosphorylation. Hepatitis B virus (HBV) can exploit hLa to stabilize its RNA and promote its pathogenesis. To enhance our knowledge of host molecular pathways involved in HBV pathogenesis, a bioinformatic approach was used to generate an expression profile of all predicted target genes of CK2-activated hLa in HBV-infected cells. A computerized literature search was performed to identify English language studies of HBV-, hLa- and CK2-related molecules. The data were pooled and the genes were classified in three functional groups by gene ontology (GO) analysis. HBV, hLa and CK2 targets were predicted, respectively, by a computational method, followed by screening for matching gene symbols in the NCBI human sequences, GO, pathway and network analyses. hLa targets and respective networks in the viral mechanisms of HBV were obtained by the final integrative analysis. Thirty-seven hub genes were identified by overlap calculation, suggesting that hLa may play an important role in the development and progression of HBV through cytokine-cytokine receptor interaction, hematopoietic cell lineage, cell adhesion molecules (CAMs), antigen processing and presentation, Jak-STAT signalling pathway, natural killer cell-mediated cytotoxicity, apoptosis, T-cell receptor signalling pathway, complement and coagulation cascades, protein export and other pathways. Our data may help researchers to predict the molecular mechanisms of hLa in the development and progression of HBV through CK2 comprehensively. Moreover, the present data indicate that hLa targets may be a series of promising candidates for HBV.