Background/Aims:Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) near the interleukin 28B gene (IL28B; interferon [IFN]-λ-3) are associated with outcomes of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) and hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection treated with peginterferon (PEG-IFN) alpha-based antiviral therapy. In this study, we investigated the influence of IL28B polymorphisms on spontaneous clearance of HBV infection in a large Korean cohort.Methods:Between January 2007 and June 2010, a total of 208 patients with chronic HBV infection and newly diagnosed HBV-related hepatocellular carcinoma were recruited as the CC group [HBsAg(+) for >6 months, anti-HBc(+), and anti-HBs(-)]. In addition, 351 organ donors were stratified into the UE group [n = 106; HBsAg(-), anti-HBc(-), and anti-HBs(-)] or the SC group [n = 245; HBsAg(-), anti-HBc(+), and anti-HBs(+)]. The SNaPshot ddNTP Primer Extension Kit (Applied Biosystems, Foster City, CA) was used for SNP detection. Direct full sequencing of the IL28B coding region was attempted.Results:Regardless of group, rs12979860 CC was most frequently identified (85.0% in UE, 85.9% in SC, and 93.5% in CC, respectively), whereas rs12979860 TT was not identified in any group. Similarly, rs12980275 AA and rs8099917 TT were most frequently identified (≥85%) regardless of group, whereas rs12980275 GG was identified in only one subject in the SC group. In addition, rs8099917 GG was not identified. The prevalences of CC in rs12979860, AA in rs12980275, and TT in rs8099917 were significantly higher in the CC group when compared with the UE and SC group (all P<0.05). Among 19 novel SNPs in the IL28B coding region, the proportions of 6 SNPs were significantly different among the UE, SC, and CC groups (all P<0.05).Conclusions:The SNP upstream of IL28B that has the strongest genetic association with HCV recovery has an inverse influence on HBV recovery. Additional studies are needed to understand the mechanisms of this SNP in HBV infection.
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