The role of the p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway in hepatitis B virus (HBV) replication was investigated in this study. After transient transfection with HBV plasmid, p38 MAPK, but not JNK or ERK1/2, was significantly phosphorylated in human hepatoma cell Huh7. Interestingly, HBV proteins and RNA synthesis were significantly inhibited by a specific inhibitor of p38 MAPK, SB203580, in a dose-dependent manner. Intracellular core-associated DNA, extracellular virion-associated DNA and covalently closed circular DNA were also significantly inhibited by SB203580. Further results showed the antiviral role of nitric oxide (NO) on the suppression of HBV replication and downregulation of p38 MAPK phosphorylation. In conclusion, these results suggested that suppression of phosphorylation of p38 MAPK by inhibitor or NO could inhibit intracellular HBV replication.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Infectious Diseases