Hepatitis B virus (HBV), a virus with known carcinogenic potential, integrates into cellular DNA during long-term persistent infection in man. Hepatocellular carcinomas isolated from viral carriers often contain clonally propagated viral DNA integrations. As small chromosomal deletions are associated with several types of carcinomas, the occurrence of chromosomal deletions in association with HBV integration in hepatocellular carcinoma was studied. HBV integration was accompanied by a deletion of at least 13.5 kilobases of cellular sequences in a human hepatocellular carcinoma. The viral DNA integration and deletion of cellular sequences occurred on the short arm of chromosome 11 at location 11p13-11p14. The cellular sequences that were deleted at the site of HBV integration were lost from the tumor cells, leaving only a single copy of the remaining cellular allele.

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