Hepatitis B viruses specifically target the liver, where they efficiently infect quiescent hepatocytes. Here we show that human and avian hepatitis B viruses can be converted into vectors for liver-directed gene transfer. These vectors allow hepatocyte-specific expression of a green fluorescent protein in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, when used to transduce a type I interferon gene, expression of interferon efficiently suppresses wild- type virus replication in the duck model of hepatitis B virus infection. These data suggest local cytokine production after hepatitis-B-virus-mediated gene transfer as a promising concept for the treatment of acquired liver diseases, including chronic hepatitis B.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - Sep 14 1999|
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