The cross-talk between the hepatitis B virus X protein (HBx) and B7-H1 in hepatocarcinoma (HCC) is unclear. This study analyzed the potential relationships between HBx and B7-H1 in hepatocarcinogenesis. One of human HCC cell lines, HepG2 cells, was transfected to stably express HBx protein (HBx(+)-HepG2). The transcription of B7-H1 mRNA was increased significantly in these cells compared to cells transfected with control vector (HBx(-)-HepG2), as confirmed by a comparative genome-wide microarray analysis (Capitalbio) and real time quantitative PCR (qPCR). Flow cytometry and western-blot further demonstrated that B7-H1 protein synthesis was enhanced in HBx(+)-HepG2 cells. Site-directed mutagenesis of promoter constructs revealed that the transcription factor (NF)-κB binding site between 128 and 137 bp upstream of B7-H1 gene transcriptional start site is primarily responsible for HBx-mediated B7-H1 expression. Co-culture experiments with HBx(+)-HepG2/T cells showed that the number of apoptotic T cells increased profoundly, and this effect could be partially prevented when a neutralizing mAb against B7-H1 was added to the culture, demonstrating that B7-H1 signaling can promote T cell apoptosis. Our results suggest that the expression of B7-H1 in hepatocarcimona cells can be initiated by HBx antigen, thus inducing T cell apoptosis and finally potentially facilitates the genesis of HCC.