Background: Hepatitis B viral (HBV) infection is one of the major causes of hepatocellular
carcinoma (HCC). Mounting evidence had provided that the HBV integration might be a critical contributor
of HCC carcinogenesis.
Objective and Method: To explore the profile of HBV integration in the plasma DNA, the method of
next-generation sequencing, HBV capture and bioinformatics had been employed to screen for HBV
integration sites in the plasma samples.
Results: In the initial experiment, a total of 87 breakpoints were detected in the 20 plasma samples.
The distribution of breakpoints showed that there was significant enrichment of breakpoints in the region
of intron. Furthermore, the HBV breakpoints were prone to occur in the region of X protein
(1,700-2,000bp) in the plasma samples. The pathway analysis had revealed that the HBV integrations
sites were specifically enriched in the cancer pathway.
Conclusion: Altogether, our results had provided direct evidence for the HBV integration in plasma
DNA, and they might be potentially useful for future HCC prognosis and diagnosis.