Host factors involved in hepatitis B virus maturation, assembly, and egress

Med Microbiol Immunol. 2012 Nov;201(4):449-61. doi: 10.1007/s00430-012-0267-9. Epub 2012 Sep 11.


Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a major cause of liver disease. Due to the tiny size of its genome, HBV depends on the critical interplay between viral and host factors for the generation of new viral particles from infected cells. Recent work has illuminated a multiplicity of spatially and temporally coordinated virus-host interactions that accompany HBV particle genesis. These interactions include the requirement of cellular chaperones for the maturation of the three viral envelope proteins, the cellular factors involved in dynamic modification, maturation, and intracellular trafficking of the nucleocapsids, and the host components of the multivesicular body (MVB) pathway enabling virion budding at intracellular compartments. Beside infectious virions, HBV produces at least two other types of particles, subviral empty envelope particles and subviral naked capsid particles, likely as a result of the engagement of different host factors by the viral structural proteins. Accordingly, HBV exploits distinct cellular pathways to release its particle types. Here, I review recent progress in these areas of the cell biology of HBV genesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Hepatitis B virus / physiology*
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions*
  • Humans
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational*
  • Protein Transport
  • Viral Proteins / metabolism
  • Virus Assembly*
  • Virus Release*


  • Viral Proteins