Genetic association between functional haplotype of collagen type III alpha 1 and chronic hepatitis B and cirrhosis in Koreans

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Collagen type III alpha 1 (COL3A1) is one of the extracelluar matrix (ECM) proteins. The expression of COL3A1 is closely related to chronic liver diseases. In this study, we investigated whether single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of COL3A1 confer genetic susceptibility to patients with hepatitis B virus-infected liver diseases including chronic hepatitis B (CH), liver cirrhosis (CIR), and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). A total of 399 Korean (KOR) people, 111 patients with CH, 95 patients with CIR, 86 patients with HCC, and 107 spontaneously recovery, were genotyped for 16 SNPs of the COL3A1 gene. The ‘A’ allele of rs3106796 was highly associated with the CH [odds ratio (OR) = 1.62, P= 0.01], CIR (OR = 1.67, P= 0.01), and HCC (OR = 1.59, P= 0.03). There were six polymorphic SNPs that could be divided into two linkage disequilibrium (LD) blocks. The haplotype pattern of the KOR control seems to be similar to the patterns displayed in the Japanese, Chinese, and Caucasian populations sampled in the International HapMap project. Haplotype 3 (A-G-A) of the LD block 2 was significantly associated with CH (OR = 2.23, P= 0.02), CIR (OR = 2.24, P= 0.03), and HCC (OR = 2.27, P= 0.03). Moreover, diplotype analysis showed that they had increased relative risk for CH and CIR in the two diplotypes, dt3 (A-G-A/G-G-A; OR = 4.05, P= 0.01) and dt6 (A-A-A/A-G-A; OR = 7.42, P= 0.01 and OR = 5.84, P= 0.05) against dt1 (G-G-A/G-G-A), the most common diplotype in both KOR groups. In vitro reporter gene assays showed that the constructs containing the ‘G’ allele of rs3106796 appear to exert lower transcriptional activity of COL3A1 than the ‘A’ allele, depending on the promoter types.

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