Evaluation of HBV promoters for use in hepatic gene therapy

Biol Chem Hoppe Seyler. 1996 Mar;377(3):187-93. doi: 10.1515/bchm3.1996.377.3.187.


Strategies for in vivo hepatic gene therapy will require regulatory elements which allow for long-term expression of therapeutic genes and restriction of expression to hepatocytes. This study investigates the suitability of promoters derived from hepatitis B virus (HBV) for liver-specific gene expression in vectors for hepatic gene therapy. We provide three hepatocyte-specific promoters, the HBV core promoter, the HBV core promoter linked directly to the HBV enhancer I, and a hybrid promoter containing the HBV enhancer II and a basic CMV promoter, which are hepatocyte-specific and allow for increasing levels of reporter gene expression. Moreover, in long-term expression studies using our promoter constructs in the context of an EBV based expression system we found that expression from these promoters remained nearly unchanged over a period of at least two months in hepatocyte-derived cell lines.

MeSH terms

  • 3T3 Cells
  • Animals
  • Antigens, Viral / genetics
  • Cell Line
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • Cytomegalovirus / genetics
  • Enhancer Elements, Genetic
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Genes, Reporter
  • Genetic Therapy*
  • HeLa Cells
  • Hepatitis B Core Antigens / genetics
  • Hepatitis B virus / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Immediate-Early Proteins / genetics
  • Luciferases / genetics
  • Mice
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic*
  • beta-Galactosidase / genetics


  • Antigens, Viral
  • Hepatitis B Core Antigens
  • Immediate-Early Proteins
  • immediate-early proteins, cytomegalovirus
  • Luciferases
  • beta-Galactosidase