A functional SNP of interferon- gene is important for interferon--induced and spontaneous recovery from hepatitis C virus infection

Huang Y, Yang H, Borg BB, Su X, Rhodes SL, Yang K, Tong X, Tang G, Howell CD, Rosen HR, Thio CL, Thomas DL, Alter HJ, Sapp RK, Liang TJ
Source: Proc Natl Acad Sci USA
Publication Date: (2007)
Issue: 104(3): 985-90
Research Area:
Immunotherapy / Hematology
Cells used in publication:
Species: human
Tissue Origin: blood
Species: human
Tissue Origin:
Nucleofectorâ„¢ I/II/2b
Cytokine polymorphisms are associated with disease outcome and interferon (IFN) treatment response in hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. We genotyped eight SNPs spanning the entire IFN-gamma gene in two cohorts and assessed the association between those polymorphisms and treatment response or spontaneous viral clearance. The first cohort was composed of 284 chronically HCV-infected patients who had received IFN-alpha-based therapy and the second was 251 i.v. drug users who had either spontaneously cleared HCV or become chronically infected. A SNP variant located in the proximal IFN-gamma promoter region next to the binding motif of heat shock transcription factor (HSF), -764G, was significantly associated with sustained virological response [P = 0.04, odds ratio (OR) = 3.51 (confidence interval 1.0-12.5)]. The association was independently significant in multiple logistic regression (P = 0.04) along with race, viral titer, and genotype. This variant was also significantly associated with spontaneous recovery [P = 0.04, OR = 3.51 (1.0-12.5)] in the second cohort. Functional analyses show that the G allele confers a two- to three-fold higher promoter activity and stronger binding affinity to HSF1 than the C allele. Our study suggests that the IFN-gamma promoter SNP -764G/C is functionally important in determining viral clearance and treatment response in HCV-infected patients and may be used as a genetic marker to predict sustained virological response in HCV-infected patients.