Effects of HLA-DPB1 genotypes on chronic hepatitis B infection in Japanese individuals

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Significant associations of HLA-DP alleles with chronic hepatitis B (CHB) infection are evident in Asian and Arabian populations, including Japanese, Han Chinese, Korean, and Saudi Arabian populations. Here, significant associations between CHB infection and five DPB1 alleles (two susceptibility alleles, DPB1*05:01 and *09:01, and three protective alleles, DPB1*02:01, *04:01, and *04:02) were confirmed in a population comprising of 2582 Japanese individuals. Furthermore, odds ratios for CHB were higher for those with both DPB1 susceptibility alleles than for those with only one susceptibility allele; therefore, effects of susceptibility alleles were additive for risk of CHB infection. Similarly, protective alleles showed an additive effect on protection from CHB infection. Moreover, heterozygotes of any protective allele showed stronger association with CHB than did homozygotes, suggesting that heterozygotes may bind a greater variety of hepatitis B-derived peptides, and thus present these peptides more efficiently to T-cell receptors than homozygotes. Notably, compound heterozygote of the protective allele (any one of DPB1*02:01, *04:01, and *04:02) and the susceptible allele DPB1*05:01 was significantly associated with protection against CHB infection, which indicates that one protective HLA-DPB1 molecule can provide dominant protection. Identification of the HLA-DPB1 genotypes associated with susceptibility to and protection from CHB infection is essential for future analysis of the mechanisms responsible for immune recognition of hepatitis B virus antigens by HLA-DPB1 molecules.

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