Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a driver of hepatocellular carcinoma, and two viral products, X and large surface antigen (LHBS), are viral oncoproteins. During chronic viral infection, immune-escape mutants on the preS2 region of LHBS (preS2-LHBS) are gain-of-function mutations that are linked to preneoplastic ground glass hepatocytes (GGHs) and early disease onset of hepatocellular carcinoma. Here, we show that preS2-LHBS provoked calcium release from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and triggered stored-operated calcium entry (SOCE). The activation of SOCE increased ER and plasma membrane (PM) connections, which was linked by ER-resident stromal interaction molecule-1 (STIM1) protein and PM-resident calcium release-activated calcium modulator 1 (Orai1). Persistent activation of SOCE induced centrosome overduplication, aberrant multipolar division, chromosome aneuploidy, anchorage-independent growth, and xenograft tumorigenesis in hepatocytes expressing preS2-LHBS. Chemical inhibitions of SOCE machinery and silencing of STIM1 significantly reduced centrosome numbers, multipolar division, and xenograft tumorigenesis induced by preS2-LHBS. These results provide the first mechanistic link between calcium homeostasis and chromosome instability in hepatocytes carrying preS2-LHBS. Therefore, persistent activation of SOCE represents a novel pathological mechanism in HBV-mediated hepatocarcinogenesis.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes