The book covers both the molecular aspects of hepatitis B virus replication and gene expression in vivo and in model systems, and the clinical impact of genetic variants or immunological response in chronic infection. Major emphasis is laid on the molecular mechanisms underlying hepatitis B virus-associated liver carcinogenesis and their possible relevance to therapy and to the prevention of infection. Rational approaches to design novel vaccines or cytokine treatments, as well as strategies to develop vectors for liver-directed gene therapy, are discussed.
Part 1 Molecular biology of hepatitus B virus: replication of HBV, C. Seeger; HBV gene expression, A. Siddiqui; animal models and experimental systems for the study of hepadnaviruses, W.H. Gerlich. Part 2 Infection and chronic diseases: natural course of HBV infection, H. Blum; genetic variants of HBV and their implications in disease, T. Harrison; the immunology of chronic hepatitis B, B. Rehemann and F. Chisari. Part 3 Hepatocellular carcinoma: HBV DNA integrationa and insertional mutagenesis, K. Koike; HBV transactivation and signal transduction, W.H. Caselmann and R. Koshy; oncogenes, tumour suppressors, and co-factors in hepatocellular carcinoma, M.A. Buendia. Part 4 Rational approaches for the prevention of infection and therapy: novel vaccines, F. Schoedel; cytokines and therapy, H. Thomas; the development of targetable vectors for the liver and prospects for gene therapy, L. Weiss and P-H Hofschneider.