Project: Characterising the milieu of hepatitis B spliced variants associated with advanced liver disease and liver cancer
We have previously shown that splice variants of HBV are associated with liver cancer, the fifth most prevalent cancer worldwide (Bayliss et al, J. Hepatol, 2013), and that splice variants are more diverse than previously appreciated (Betz-Stablein et al., 2016). Yet the complexity of splice variants associated with advanced liver disease and liver cancer is unknown. This project will utilise next generation sequencing, cloning, and in vitro cell culture studies to identify and characterise novel splice variants associated with advanced liver disease and liver cancer across different HBV genotypes, and determine their replication phenotype. Techniques utilised will include cell culture; real time PCR/digital PCR; next generation sequencing; Southern, Northern and Western blotting; and quantitative serology. This project will make a major contribution to our understanding of the role of HBV splice variants in liver disease progression.
The Revill group’s work is focused on the molecular virology hepatitis B virus (HBV), which is one of the most important human pathogens, infecting 257 million people worldwide, including 239,000 Australians. The lab has a particular interest in the contribution of different HBV genotypes and variants to the striking differences in natural history, disease progression and treatment response observed globally. We also have an interest in determining the role of splicing in HBV-mediated liver cancer. Our studies will provide new insights into the role of spliced HBV variants and HBV genotype in liver disease.