Haitao Guo, PhD


Dr. Haitao Guo



G.27C Hillman Cancer Center

5117 Centre Avenue

Pittsburgh, PA 15213


PhD in Virology, Wuhan University (China), 2001

BS in Virology, Wuhan University (China), 1996

Research Summary

My research is focused on the viral pathogenesis of hepatitis B virus (HBV) and antiviral discovery. HBV is the etiologic agent of viral hepatitis B, a disease affecting approximately 350 million people worldwide who suffer the high risk of liver failure, cirrhosis and liver cancer. My laboratory aims at understanding the molecular mechanisms of HBV DNA replication and morphogenesis, with special focus on the biosynthesis and regulation of HBV covalently closed circular (ccc) DNA, which is the persistent form of HBV infection, and is the culprit for the failure of current antiviral therapies. Making use of the HBV cccDNA reporter cell line systems recently established by us, we are screening small molecule compound libraries for cccDNA inhibitors in a high throughput fashion, and two identified cccDNA formation inhibitors are currently under preclinical development. In addition, we are studying the innate immunity and oncogenic signaling pathways that regulate HBV replication, as well as identification and characterization of host restriction factors that inhibit HBV infection and propagation in human hepatocytes. We are also investigating the molecular mechanisms of HBV-induced liver cancer and finding therapeutic targets. 

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Mitra B, Wang J, Kim E, Mao R, Dong M, Liu Y, Zhang J and Guo H. 2019. Hepatitis B Virus Precore Protein p22 Inhibits Interferon-alpha Signaling by Blocking STAT Nuclear Translocation. J of Virol. 93: e00196-19. |  View Abstract

Yang F, Yu X, Zhou C, Mao R, Zhu M, Ma Z, Mitra B, Zhao G, Huang Y, Guo H, Wang B and Zhang J. 2019. Hepatitis B e antigen induces the expansion of monocytic myeloid-derived suppressor cells to dampen T-cell function in chronic hepatitis B virus infection. PLoS Path. 15: e1007690. |  View Abstract

Zhang Y, Zhang H, Zhang J, Zhang J and Guo H. 2019. Naturally Occurring Core Protein Mutations Compensate for the Reduced Replication Fitness of a Lamivudine-Resistant HBV Isolate. Antiviral Res. 165: 47-54. |  View Abstract

Long Q, Yan R, Hu J, Cai D, Mitra B, Kim E, Marchetti A, Zhang H, Wang S, Liu Y, Huang A and Guo H. 2017. The Role of Host DNA ligases in Hepadnavirus Covalently Closed Circular DNA Formation. PLoS Path. 13: e1006784. |  View Abstract

Liu Y, Nie H, Mao R, Mitra B, Cai D, Yan R, Guo JT, Block TM, Mechti N and Guo H. 2017. Interferon-inducible Ribonuclease ISG20 Inhibits Hepatitis B Virus Replication through Directly Binding to the epsilon Stem-loop Structure of Viral RNA. PLoS Path. 13: e1006296. |  View Abstract