Hepatitis B Virus Cellular Entrys Erecting a Barrier
Hepatitis B Virus Cellular Entry– Erecting a Barrier
The identity of the cell surface receptor (or receptors) that mediates infection of human hepatocytes by Hepatitis B virus (HBV) has proven elusive. A number of candidates have been proffered over the years, but the lack of good cell culture-based infectivity model systems has tended to frustrate researchers in the field. A recent report using the HepaRG human hepatoma cell line offers insights into cellular barriers to viral entry. The data suggest that the susceptible cells must adopt a polarized architecture similar to hepatocytes within the normal liver, including the formation of bile canalicular structures. Unlike most epithelial cells, which form sheet-like structures, hepatocytes polarize in a distinctive, threedimensional array.