Tumor necrosis factor-alpha -308G/A polymorphism and risk of hepatocellular carcinoma in hepatitis C virus-infected patients
Roba M. Talaat, Ahmed A. Esmail, Reda Elwakil, Adel A. Gurgis, Mahmoud I. Nasr
Molecular Biology Departments, Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Research Institute (GEBRI), Menofia University, Sadat 22857, Egypt Robamtalaat@yahoo.com
[Abstract] Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) is an important cytokine in generating an immune response against infection with hepatitis C virus (HCV). The functions of TNF-α may be altered by single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in its gene structure. We hypothesized that SNPs in TNF-α may be important in determining the outcome of an HCV infection. To test this hypothesis, we investigated the role of the polymorphism -308G/A, which is located in the promoter region of the TNF-α gene, in the progression of HCV infection in Egyptian patients using a quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). The distribution of this polymorphism and its impact on the serum level of TNF-α was compared between 90 HCV-infected patients [45 with HCV-induced cirrhosis and 45 with HCV-related hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC)] and 45 healthy Egyptian volunteers without any history of liver disease. Our results showed that at the TNF-α -308 position, the G/G allele was most common (78.5%) in the study population, with the G/A and A/A alleles occurring less frequently (13.3% and 8.1%, respectively). Frequencies of G/G, G/A, and A/A genotypes were 87%, 7%, and 6% in patients with liver cirrhosis and were 94%, 4%, and 2% in patients with HCC, respectively. Serum levels of TNF-α were significantly higher in HCV-infected patients than in healthy controls, indicating that the TNF-α -308 polymorphism does not influence the production of TNF-α. The serum level of TNF-α was positively correlated with HCV infection. Taken together, these findings suggest that the TNF-α -308 polymorphism may not be a host genetic factor associated with the severity of HCV infection, but may be an independent risk factor for HCC.
Chinese Journal of Cancer 2012, Volume: 31, Issue 1, Page: 29-35