Combined Mutations in Pre-S/Surface and Core Promoter/Precore Regions of Hepatitis B Virus Increase the Risk of Hepatocellular Carcinoma: A Case-Control Study

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Abstract

Background.

We sought to investigate the role of sequence variations in pre-S/surface and basal core promoter (BCP)/precore regions of the hepatitis B virus (HBV) in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).

Methods.

The direct sequencing in pre-S/surface and BCP/precore regions of HBV was determined for 80 patients with HCC and 160 control patients with HBV infection.

Results.

Compared with control patients, patients with HCC had higher frequencies of pre-S deletions and amino acid substitutions at codon 4, 7, and 81 in pre-S1 genes; at the start codon in pre-S2 genes; and at codon 68 in surface genes. Patients also had a lower frequency of amino acid substitution at codon 2 in pre-S2 genes, compared with control patients. In BCP/precore regions, patients with HCC had higher frequencies of C or G1753, A1762/T1764, T1846, and A1899. Multivariate analysis showed that pre-S deletions, I68T surface gene, T1762/A1764, and A1899 were independent factors associated with the development of HCC. The HBV strain with a complex mutation pattern rather than a single mutation was associated with HCC, and the HCC risks increased for patients having these factors in combination.

Conclusions.

Pre-S deletions, I68T in surface gene, T1762/A1764, and A1899 were independent risk factors for HCC. Combination of these viral mutations appeared to increase the risk of HCC.

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