Background: Epidemiological studies have clearly validated the association between hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Patients with chronic HBV infection are at increased risk of HCC, in particular those with active liver disease and cirrhosis.
Methods: We catalogued all published interactions between HBV and human proteins, identifying 250 descriptions of HBV and human protein interactions and 146 unique human proteins that interact with HBV proteins by text mining.
Results: Integration of this data set into a reconstructed human interactome showed that cellular proteins interacting with HBV are made up of core proteins that are interconnected with many pathways. A global analysis based on functional annotation highlighted the enrichment of cellular pathways targeted by HBV.
Conclusions: By connecting the cellular proteins targeted by HBV, we have constructed a central network of proteins associated with hepatocellular carcinoma, which might be to regard as the basis of a detailed map for tracking new cellular interactions, and guiding future investigations.