Cancer medicine 2018 03 30() doi 10.1002/cam4.1468
Cytotoxic chemotherapy drugs, including doxorubicin, can directly promote hepatitis B virus (HBV) replication, but the mechanism has not been fully clarified. This study investigated the potential mechanism underlying the cytotoxic chemotherapy-mediated direct promotion of HBV replication. We found that HBV replication and regulatory factor X box 1 gene (RFX1) expression were simultaneously promoted by doxorubicin treatment. The amount of RFX1 bound to the HBV enhancer I was significantly increased under doxorubicin treatment. Furthermore, the activity of doxorubicin in promoting HBV replication was significantly attenuated when the expression of endogenous RFX1 was knocked down, and the EP element of HBV enhancer I, an element that mediated the binding of RFX1 and HBV enhancer I, was mutated. In addition, two different sequences of the conserved EP element were found among HBV genotypes A-D, and doxorubicin could promote the replication of HBV harboring either of the conserved EP elements. Here, a novel pathway in which doxorubicin promoted HBV replication via RFX1 was identified, and it might participate in doxorubicin-induced HBV reactivation. These findings would be helpful in preventing HBV reactivation during anticancer chemotherapy.