Background: Many viruses increase their replication by affecting DNA damage response (DDR) signaling and activating and inhibiting DNA damage response factors. to date, few studies have investigated Homologous Recombination (HR) system in the field of hepatitis B patients. The current study set out to investigate HR system by examining the expression of RAD51, BRCA1, and HBx genes in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of hepatitis B patients. Two groups of subjects were enrolled including healthy controls (n=61) and hepatitis B patients (n=60). The serum levels of HBV DNA, Rad5 1and BRCA1, in the PBMCs were measured using real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR.) Moreover, serum levels of liver enzymes (ALT and AST) levels were assessed by automatic biochemical analyzer technique.
Results: In HBV-infected patients, the gene expression of Rad51 and BRCA 1 were significantly upregulated compared to healthy controls (P< 0.05). However, There is a statistically significant correlation between Rad51(r= 0.838; P value < 0.001) and BRCA1(r= 0.588; P value < 0.05), genes expression and viral load.
Conclusions: These results demonstrated that hepatitis B virus affected the homologous recombination system by increasing the expression of Rad51 and BRCA1 genes, suggesting these genes could be considered as valuable therapeutic targets for treating hepatitis B patients.