Gene Summary

Gene:IFNL3; interferon lambda 3
Aliases: IL28B, IL28C, IL-28B, IL-28C, IFN-lambda-3, IFN-lambda-4
Summary:This gene encodes a cytokine distantly related to type I interferons and the IL-10 family. This gene, interleukin 28A (IL28A), and interleukin 29 (IL29) are three closely related cytokine genes that form a cytokine gene cluster on a chromosomal region mapped to 19q13. Expression of the cytokines encoded by the three genes can be induced by viral infection. All three cytokines have been shown to interact with a heterodimeric class II cytokine receptor that consists of interleukin 10 receptor, beta (IL10RB) and interleukin 28 receptor, alpha (IL28RA). [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:interferon lambda-3
Source:NCBIAccessed: 30 August, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
IFNL3 is implicated in:
- cytokine activity
- defense response to virus
- extracellular space
Data from Gene Ontology via CGAP
Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
Show (2)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 30 August 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group
  • Thailand
  • Toll-Like Receptor 2
  • Genetic Association Studies
  • Xenograft Models
  • Disease Progression
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cohort Studies
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic
  • Alanine Transaminase
  • Liver Cancer
  • Base Sequence
  • Antiviral Agents
  • Interferon-alpha
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Hepatitis B
  • Alleles
  • Risk Factors
  • Hepatitis C
  • Genetic Predisposition
  • Genotype
  • alpha-Fetoproteins
  • Interleukins
  • Viral Core Proteins
  • Hepatocellular Carcinoma
  • Recurrence
  • Odds Ratio
  • Polymorphism
  • Single Nucleotide Polymorphism
  • Hepatitis B, Chronic
  • Young Adult
  • Liver Cirrhosis
  • Chromosome 19
  • Uridine Kinase
  • Hepatitis B virus
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Hepacivirus
Tag cloud generated 30 August, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (1)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: IFNL3 (cancer-related)

Sghaier I, Brochot E, Loueslati BY, Almawi WY
Hepatitis C virus protein interaction network for HCV clearance and association of DAA to HCC occurrence via data mining approach: A systematic review and critical analysis.
Rev Med Virol. 2019; 29(2):e2033 [PubMed] Related Publications
HCV has been associated with a pro-inflammatory state, which predisposes to hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, the different molecular mechanisms underlying the effect of HCV infection on HCC progression remain unclear. Although HCV infection illustrates the potential role of host genetics in the outcome of infectious diseases, there is no clear overview of some single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) influencing spontaneous or treatment-induced HCV eradication. We studied the possible role of HCV infection in the processes of HCC initiation and performed a systematic analysis using data mining approaches to identify host polymorphisms associated with treatment response and HCC development using topological analysis of protein-proteins interactions (PPI) networks. On the basis of our analysis performed, we identified key hub proteins related to HCV-treatment response infection and to HCC development. Host genetic polymorphisms, such as inosine triphosphatase (ITPA), interferon, lambda 3 (IFNL3), Q5 interferon, lambda 4 (IFNL4), toll-like receptors (TLRs) and interferon-stimulated gene 15 (ISG-15), were identified as key genes for treatment prediction and HCC evolution. By comparing unique genes for HCV-treatment response and genes particular to HCV-HCC development, we found a common PPI network that may participate in more extensive signalling processes during anti-HCV treatment, which can play important roles in modulating the immune response to the occurrence of HCC. Data mining is an effective tool for identifying potential regulatory pathways involved in treatment response and HCC development. Our study may contribute to a better understanding of HCV immunopathogenesis and highlights the complex role of host genetics in HCV clearance.

Buivydiene A, Liakina V, Kashuba E, et al.
Impact of the Uridine⁻Cytidine Kinase Like-1 Protein and IL28B rs12979860 and rs8099917 SNPs on the Development of Hepatocellular Carcinoma in Cirrhotic Chronic Hepatitis C Patients-A Pilot Study.
Medicina (Kaunas). 2018; 54(5) [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications

Annibali O, Piccioni L, Tomarchio V, et al.
Impact of IFN lambda 3/4 single nucleotide polymorphisms on the cytomegalovirus reactivation in autologous stem cell transplant patients.
PLoS One. 2018; 13(7):e0200221 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection represents one of the main cause mortality after Stem Cell Transplantation. Recently, a protective effect of the T allele of rs12979860 IL28B Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) against CMV infection in the allogenic stem cell transplantation was suggested. We investigate whether the rs12979860 IL28B SNP and the relative rs368234815 (IFNλ4) genotype may affect the incidence of active CMV infection in Autologous stem cell transplantation (Auto-SCT) setting. The study included 99 patients who underwent to Auto-SCT. IL28 and IFNΔ4 SNPs were correlated with CMV reactivation along with other clinical and treatment parameters. CMV reactivation by CMV DNAemia was evaluated once a week until day 100 from Auto-SCT. CMV reactivation was documented in 50% (TT-ΔG/ΔG), 35% (CC-TT/TT) and 29.2% (CT-TT/ΔG) of the patients respectively. No differences in CMV copies number were recorded at reactivation between different IL28/IFNλ4 genotypes. The analysis of patients older than 60 years showed a significantly higher incidence of active CMV infection in the TT-ΔG/ΔG (83%) population with respect to CC-TT/TT (21%) and CT-TT/ΔG (40%) patients. Our data suggest a negative role of TT-ΔG/ΔG genotype in the CMV reactivation in Auto-SCT. The exposure to rituximab and the pre-infusion presence of anti CMV IgG also significantly influenced CMV reactivation.

Attallah AM, Omran D, Marie MS, et al.
IL-28B rs12979860 polymorphism affect the course of chronic hepatitis and the development of HCC in Egyptian patients with hepatitis C type 4.
Br J Biomed Sci. 2018; 75(4):157-162 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: A single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the interleukin 28B (IL28B) gene may alter the trajectory of hepatitis C virus (HCV) chronic infection. Several studies have sought to determine a link between IL28B rs12979860 SNP and the development of HCV-related hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), but with variable results, and consensus is awaited. We hypothesised that IL28B rs12979860 SNP is linked to HCC in patients with HCV type 4.
METHODS: IL28B genotyping of 300 patients with HCV-related fibrosis (n = 100), cirrhosis (n = 100) and HCC (n = 100) was carried out and the results were analysed to determine the association between the IL28B genotype and clinical outcome.
RESULTS: In IL28B TT genotype carriers, the proportions of moderate/severe fibrosis, advanced cirrhosis (Child B-C) and HCC (50%, 84% and 60.2%, respectively) were higher (p < 0.05) than in CC/CT (4.3%, 46% and 23%, respectively). IL-28B SNP was linked significantly (p < 0.05) with cirrhosis progression and HCC advanced stages. Moreover, HCC advanced Child, Okuda and CLIP stages were associated with T allele carriage (73.9%, 82.6% and 78.3% vs. 44.2%, 50.6% and 46.8% in CC/CT). The percentage of large tumour size (> 3cm) increased (p = 0.028) in TT genotype carriers (81.8% vs.52.6% in CC/CT).
CONCLUSION: IL-28B rs12979860 TT genotype is more prevalent in patients with advanced fibrosis, cirrhosis and HCC stages. Thus, it seems to be associated with poor outcomes in chronic HCV patients and to augment the risk of developing HCC.

Walker AJ, Peacock CJ, Pedergnana V, et al.
Host genetic factors associated with hepatocellular carcinoma in patients with hepatitis C virus infection: A systematic review.
J Viral Hepat. 2018; 25(5):442-456 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Hepatitis C virus (HCV)-infected patients are at risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Individuals at heightened risk could be targeted by intensive follow-up surveillance. We have conducted a systematic review of the literature to identify host genetic predisposition to HCC in HCV-infected patients. A comprehensive search of Medline and Embase databases was performed, and the strength of evidence of associations for each gene on development of HCC was evaluated. We identified 166 relevant studies, relating to 137 different genes, or combinations thereof. Seventeen genes were classified as having "good" evidence of an association, a significant association was observed for 37 genes but this finding had not yet been replicated, 56 genes had mixed or limited evidence of an association, and 27 genes showed no association. IFNL3/4, TNF-α and PNPLA3 genes had the most evidence of an association. There was, however, considerable heterogeneity in study design and data quality. In conclusion, we identified a number of genes with evidence of association with HCC, but also a need for more standardized approaches to address this clinically critical question. It is important to consider the underlying mechanism of these relationships and which are confounded by the presence of other HCC risk factors and response to therapy. We also identified many genes where the evidence of association is contradictory or requires replication, as well as a number where associations have been studied but no evidence found. These findings should help to direct future studies on host genetic predisposition to HCC in HCV-infected patients.

Jud S, Goede JS, Senn O, et al.
sIL2R ratio as early marker for response in hairy cell leukemia and the prognostic relevance of IL28B genotype to interferon-α therapy.
Ann Hematol. 2017; 96(5):757-763 [PubMed] Related Publications
Interferon-α (IFNα) was the first effective drug therapy for hairy cell leukemia (HCL). Nowadays, it is used as an alternative treatment in selected patients. Due to unlimited treatment time, monitoring and early prediction of response are important. Moreover, IFNα is used in the therapy of chronic hepatitis C, where a single nucleotide polymorphism of interleukin-28B gene (IL28B) correlates with therapy response. The role of this polymorphism in therapy response of IFNα-treated patients with HCL is unknown. Thirty-seven HCL patients treated between 1978 and 2014 were included in this study. Treatment strategy and response parameters (blood cell counts, soluble interleukin-2 receptor (sIL2R), and bone marrow examination) have been assessed. Relative decrease of sIL2R was correlated with outcome parameters. Response parameters of IFNα-treated patients were correlated with IL28B polymorphism. Twenty-one patients were analyzed for the correlation of sIL2R ratio and outcome. After 1 and 3 months of therapy (IFNα or cladribine (CDA)), the median sIL2R level showed a relative decrease of 79 and 91%. These decreases significantly correlate with time to complete remission (CR, p = 0.029 and p = 0.018). Correlation analyses of IL28B genotype with outcome parameters are not significant. Six patients (16%) were diagnosed with secondary malignancies, and one death was registered (median follow-up time 14 years). IFNα is a safe, effective, and well-tolerated long-term treatment in HCL. Relative decreases of sIL2R levels correlate with time to CR and are useful as early predictor for response. There is no significant correlation between IL28B polymorphism and treatment response to IFNα. Graphical abstract.

Murata K, Asano M, Matsumoto A, et al.
Induction of IFN-λ3 as an additional effect of nucleotide, not nucleoside, analogues: a new potential target for HBV infection.
Gut. 2018; 67(2):362-371 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: The clinical significance of polymorphisms in the interleukin-28B gene encoding interferon (IFN)-λ3, which has antiviral effects, is known in chronic HCV but not in HBV infection. Thus, we measured IFN-λ3 levels in patients with HBV and investigated its clinical significance and association with nucleos(t)ide (NUC) analogue administration.
DESIGN: Serum IFN-λ3 level was measured in 254 patients with HBV with varying clinical conditions using our own high sensitivity method. The resulting values were compared with various clinical variables. In addition, cell lines originating from various organs were cultured with NUCs, and the production of IFN-λ3 was evaluated.
RESULTS: Higher serum IFN-λ3 levels were detected in the patients treated with nucleotide analogues (adefovir or tenofovir) compared with those treated with nucleoside analogues (lamivudine or entecavir). There were no other differences in the clinical background between the two groups. A rise in the serum IFN-λ3 levels was observed during additional administration of the nucleotide analogues. In vitro experiments showed that the nucleotide analogues directly and dose-dependently induced IFN-λ3 production only in colon cancer cells. Furthermore, the supernatant from cultured adefovir-treated colon cancer cells significantly induced IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs) and inhibited hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) production in hepatoma cells, as compared with the supernatant from entecavir-treated cells.
CONCLUSIONS: We discovered that the nucleotide analogues show an additional pharmacological effect by inducing IFN-λ3 production, which further induces ISGs and results in a reduction of HBsAg production. These findings provide novel insights for HBV treatment and suggest IFN-λ3 induction as a possible target.

Ibrahim MK, Salama H, Abd El Rahman M, et al.
Three Gene Signature for Predicting the Development of Hepatocellular Carcinoma in Chronically Infected Hepatitis C Virus Patients.
J Interferon Cytokine Res. 2016; 36(12):698-705 [PubMed] Related Publications
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is the leading cause of liver fibrosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). At present, there is no predictive biomarker for the patients at high risk of developing HCC. In this study, we examined the association between single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 3 innate immunity genes [2'-5'oligoadenylate synthetase 1 (OAS1) rs10774671, interleukin 28B (IL28B) rs12979860, and low molecular mass polypeptide 7 (LMP-7) at codon 49] besides cytomegalovirus (CMV) coinfection and susceptibility to HCC in genotype 4 (GT4) chronically infected Egyptian patients. SNPs were determined using restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis in DNA from HCC patients (n = 34) and compared with either controls (n = 70) or patients with early grades of liver fibrosis (n = 49). Our results demonstrated that patients bearing the genetic combination consisting of LMP-7 CA/AA [OR 4.75, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.443-15.631, P = 0.007] and IL28B rs12979860 CT/TT (OR 6.00, 95% CI 1.603-22.455, P = 0.004) and positive for CMV viremia (OR 3.11, 95% CI 1.151-8.412, P = 0.02) were more likely to have HCC. However, OAS1 rs10774671 does not seem to contribute to the development of HCC. Binary regression analysis indicated that HCC risk significantly increases with the presence of each unfavorable genotype (LMP-7 CA/AA, IL28B rs12979860 CT/TT), when accompanied by the existence of CMV coinfection (probability of HCC risk is 0.8 for combined factors versus 0.14, 0.07, and 0.07 for individual factor IL28B, LMP-7, and CMV; respectively). These data suggest that the 2 SNPs and the coinfection in concert have potential in predicting the risk of HCC development in patients infected with HCV GT4.

Eslam M, George J
Targeting IFN-λ: therapeutic implications.
Expert Opin Ther Targets. 2016; 20(12):1425-1432 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Type-III interferons (IFN-λ), the most recently discovered family of IFNs, shares common features with other family members, but also has many distinctive activities. IFN-λ uniquely has a different receptor complex, and a more focused pattern of tissue expression and signaling effects, from other classes of IFNs. Multiple genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and subsequent validation reports suggest a pivotal role for polymorphisms near the IFNL3 gene in hepatitis C clearance and control, as also for several other epithelial cell tropic viruses. Apart from its antiviral activity, IFN-λ possesses anti-tumor, immune-inflammatory and homeostatic functions. The overlapping effects of IFN-λ with type I IFN, with a restricted tissue expression pattern renders IFN-λ an attractive therapeutic target for viral infection, cancer and autoimmune diseases, with limited side effects. Areas covered: This review will summarize the current and future therapeutic opportunities offered by this most recently discovered family of interferons. Expert opinion: Our knowledge on IFN-λ is rapidly expanding. Though there are many remaining questions and challenges that require elucidation, the unique characteristics of IFN-λ increases enthusiasm that multiple therapeutic options will emerge.

Langman LJ, Nesher L, Shah DP, et al.
Challenges in Determining Genotypes for Pharmacogenetics in Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplant Recipients.
J Mol Diagn. 2016; 18(5):638-642 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
As part of a pharmacogenetic study, paired blood and oral fluid samples were tested for the IL28B polymorphism (rs12979860) before and after hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) to evaluate changes in the genotype and investigate the utility of genotyping in oral fluid in HCT recipients. In 54 patients with leukemia >18 years of age, samples were collected approximately 7 days before HCT and 60 days after HCT. IL28B polymorphism testing was performed using real-time PCR with allele-specific probes. Twenty-four patients had the same genotype as their donors. In 30 patients, the genotype was different from that of the donor. In the oral fluid samples, 4 retained the recipient's genotype, and 18 had a genotype that matched that of the donor. In the remaining 8 patients, the results could not be characterized and appeared to be a combination of both, suggesting mixed proportions of donor and recipient cells. The assumption was that the sloughed epithelial cells of the mouth are of recipient origin. However, oral fluid is a mixture that contains varying numbers of cells of the recipient and immunomodulatory cells from the donor. Therefore, the use of oral fluid after HCT for clinical pharmacogenetics purposes needs further investigation.

Martin P, Martínez-Velasquez J, Coronado MJ, et al.
Association of DDX58 177 C > T polymorphism with decreased risk of Epstein-Barr virus-related nodular sclerosis classical Hodgkin lymphoma.
Leuk Lymphoma. 2017; 58(2):438-444 [PubMed] Related Publications
Classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL) is frequently related to Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection. Its malignant capacity is attributed to disruption of an EBV-host balance influenced by environmental and genetic drivers. EBV structures activate Type I interferon (IFN) pathway of the innate immunity, therefore, genetic polymorphisms could influence this response. We explored the impact of four single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) on EBV-associated cHL susceptibility. Toll-like receptors 9 (TLR9_rs5743836), and 3 (TLR3_rs3775291), Interleukin-28B (IL28B_rs12979860), and DEAD-box polypeptide 58 (DDX58_rs10813831) were genotyped in 73 EBV-positive and 106 EBV-negative cHL patients and 396 controls. Only DDX58_rs10813831 T-allele was decreased among EBV-positive cHL compared to controls. A stratified analysis in EBV-positive cHL showed that the reduced rate was associated with younger age and nodular sclerosis. In conclusion, DDX58_rs10813831 T-allele may be associated with a reduced risk of nodular sclerosis EBV-related cHL, which suggests a role for RIG-I (retinoic acid-inducible gene I), encoded by DDX58, in these cases.

de la Fuente S, Citores MJ, Duca A, et al.
Interleukin-28B TT genotype is frequently found in patients with hepatitis C virus cirrhosis but does not influence hepatocarcinogenesis.
Clin Exp Med. 2017; 17(2):217-223 [PubMed] Related Publications
Persistent hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is associated with progressive hepatic fibrosis and ultimately hepatocellular carcinoma. The interleukin-28B (IL28B) rs12979860 polymorphism is associated with fibrosis progression in chronic HCV infection. IL28B encodes interferon-λ, which has both antiviral and anti-proliferative properties. This study aimed to determine whether IL28B rs12979860 polymorphism is also associated with development of hepatocellular carcinoma both in chronic HCV infection and in non-viral-related cirrhosis. Real-time polymerase chain reaction and melting curve analyses were used to genotype 311 patients who underwent liver transplantation for HCV cirrhosis (n = 202) or alcoholic cirrhosis (n = 109). HCV patients were older (p = 0.012) and less likely males (p < 0.001) than patients with alcoholic cirrhosis. IL28B rs12979860 TT genotype [OR 6.08, 95 % CI 2.11-17.53; p < 0.001] and T allele carriage (CT + TT; OR 2.3, CI 95 % 1.42-3.72; p = 0.001) were more frequent among HCV patients and, among them, more common in patients infected with HCV genotype 1 (CT + TT; OR 1.79, CI 95 % 1.03-3.09; p = 0.009). Incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma was higher in HCV cirrhosis (OR 2.7, CI 95 % 1.5-4.7; p < 0.001), with no differences according to HCV genotype. IL28B genotype distribution was similar among patients with or without hepatocellular carcinoma, in both HCV patients regardless viral genotype (p = 0.84) and alcoholic patients (p = 0.91). Multivariate analysis showed that older age (OR 1.06, CI 95 % 1.02-1.1; p = 0.003) and male gender (OR 2.49, CI 95 % 1.24-5; p = 0.01) were independent risk factors for hepatocellular carcinoma in HCV patients. In summary, the current study did not find a significant association between IL28B rs12979860 polymorphism and hepatocarcinogenesis.

Ferraris P, Chandra PK, Panigrahi R, et al.
Cellular Mechanism for Impaired Hepatitis C Virus Clearance by Interferon Associated with IFNL3 Gene Polymorphisms Relates to Intrahepatic Interferon-λ Expression.
Am J Pathol. 2016; 186(4):938-51 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The single nucleotide polymorphism located within the IFNL3 (also known as IL28B) promoter is one of the host factors associated with hepatitis C virus (HCV) clearance by interferon (IFN)-α therapy; however the mechanism remains unknown. We investigated how IL28B gene polymorphism influences HCV clearance with infected primary human hepatocytes, liver biopsies, and hepatoma cell lines. Our study confirms that the rs12979860-T/T genotype has a strong correlation with ss469415590-ΔG/ΔG single nucleotide polymorphism that produces IFN-λ4 protein. We found that IFN-α and IFN-λ1 antiviral activity against HCV was impaired in IL28B T/T infected hepatocytes compared with C/C genotype. Western blot analysis showed that IL28B TT genotype hepatocytes expressed higher levels of IFN-λ proteins (IL28B, IL-29), preactivated IFN-stimulated gene (ISG) expression, and impaired Stat phosphorylation when stimulated with either IFN-α or IFN-λ1. Furthermore, we showed that silencing IFN-λ1 in T/T cell line reduced basal ISG expression and improved antiviral activity. Likewise, overexpression of IFN-λ (1 to 4) in C/C cells induced basal ISG expression and prevented IFN-α antiviral activity. We showed that IFN-λ4, produced at low level only in T/T cells induced expression of IL28B and IL-29 and prevented IFN-α antiviral activity in HCV cell culture. Our results suggest that IFN-λ4 protein expression associated with the IL28B-T/T variant preactivates the Janus kinase-Stat signaling, leading to impaired HCV clearance by both IFN-α and IFN-λ.

Lee MH, Yang HI, Lu SN, et al.
Polymorphisms near the IFNL3 Gene Associated with HCV RNA Spontaneous Clearance and Hepatocellular Carcinoma Risk.
Sci Rep. 2015; 5:17030 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The aims of this study were to investigate associations between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) near the genes IFNL2, IFNL3, and IFNL4 and spontaneous clearance of hepatitis C virus (HCV) and to evaluate variants for their risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) among subjects in whom spontaneous HCV RNA clearance did not occur. In the first study, 889 untreated anti-HCV-seropositive patients without HCC symptoms were followed from 1991 to 2005. The spontaneous HCV clearance rate was found to be 33.1%. The TT variant of rs8099917 near IFNL3 was associated with increased spontaneous HCV RNA clearance, with an adjusted odds ratio (95% CI) of 2.78 (1.43-5.39), as was the newly-identified TT/TT dinucleotide variant rs368234815 near IFNL4 (adjusted odds ratio 2.68, 95% CI: 1.42-5.05). In the second study, associations between SNPs and HCC risk were examined in 483 HCC cases with detectable HCV RNA and 516 controls. In participants with HCV genotype 1, unfavorable genotypes for HCV clearance near IFNL3 were associated with increased HCC risk, the adjusted odds ratio (95% CI) for rs12979860 and rs8099917 being 1.73 (1.00-2.99) and 1.84 (1.02-3.33), respectively. Host characteristics should be considered to identify high-risk patients to prioritize the use of new antiviral agents and intensive screening.

Matsuura K, Tanaka Y
Host genetic variants influencing the clinical course of hepatitis C virus infection.
J Med Virol. 2016; 88(2):185-95 [PubMed] Related Publications
The clinical course of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection greatly differs in individuals. Various viral, host, and environmental factors influence the natural history of HCV infection. Recent genome-wide association studies identified several host genetic factors influencing treatment efficacy or clinical course in HCV infection. A landmark discovery was that IFNL3-IFNL4 variants are strongly associated with responses to interferon-based treatment. Genetic variants in IFNL3-IFNL4 as well as those in HLA class II loci influence the spontaneous clearance of acute HCV infection. Interestingly, these genetic variants also affect the activity of hepatitis, or disease progression in chronic hepatitis C. In addition, polymorphisms in apoptosis-related genes such as RNF7, TULP1, and MERTK are associated with fibrosis progression, and DEPDC5 and MICA variants are associated with HCV-related hepatocellular carcinoma. Understanding the genetic factors associated with the clinical course of HCV infection is essential for personalized treatment and surveillance of disease progression and hepatocellular carcinoma.

Shi X, Chi X, Pan Y, et al.
IL28B is associated with outcomes of chronic HBV infection.
Yonsei Med J. 2015; 56(3):625-33 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PURPOSE: The role of IL28B gene variants and expression in hepatitis B virus (HBV) infections are not well understood. Here, we evaluated whether IL28B gene expression and rs12979860 variations are associated with HBV outcomes.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: IL28B genetic variations (rs12979860) were genotyped by pyrosequencing of DNA samples from 137 individuals with chronic HBV infection [50 inactive carriers (IC), 34 chronic hepatitis B (CHB), 27 cirrhosis, 26 hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC)], and 19 healthy controls. IL28A/B mRNA expression in peripheral blood mononuclear cells was determined by qRT-PCR, and serum IL28B protein was measured by ELISA.
RESULTS: Patients with IL28B C/C genotype had greater IL28A/B mRNA expression and higher IL28B protein levels than C/T patients. Within the various disease stages, compared to IC and healthy controls, IL28B expression was reduced in the CHB, cirrhosis, and HCC cohorts (CHB vs. IC, p=0.02; cirrhosis vs. IC, p=0.01; HCC vs. IC, p=0.001; CHB vs. controls, p<0.01; cirrhosis vs. controls, p<0.01; HCC vs. controls, p<0.01). When stratified with respect to serum HBV markers in the IC and CHB cohorts, IL28B mRNA and protein levels were higher in HBeAg-positive than negative individuals (p=0.01). Logistic regression analysis revealed that factors associated with high IL28B protein levels were C/C versus C/T genotype [p=0.016, odds ratio (OR)=0.25, 95% confidence interval (CI)=0.08-0.78], high alanine aminotransferase values (p<0.001, OR=8.02, 95% CI=2.64-24.4), and the IC stage of HBV infection (p<0.001).
CONCLUSION: Our data suggest that IL28B genetic variations may play an important role in long-term development of disease in chronic HBV infections.

Al-Qahtani A, Al-Anazi M, Abdo AA, et al.
Correlation between genetic variations and serum level of interleukin 28B with virus genotypes and disease progression in chronic hepatitis C virus infection.
J Immunol Res. 2015; 2015:768470 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Recent studies have demonstrated that polymorphisms near the interleukin-28B (IL-28B) gene could predict the response to Peg-IFN-a/RBV combination therapy in HCV-infected patients. The aim of the study was to correlate the serum level of IL28B in HCV-infected patients with virus genotype/subgenotype and disease progression. IL28B serum level was detected and variations at five single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in IL28B gene region were genotyped and analyzed. The variation of IL28B genetic polymorphisms was found to be strongly associated with HCV infection when healthy control group was compared to HCV-infected patients with all P values <0.0001. Functional analysis revealed that subjects carrying rs8099917-GG genotype had higher serum level of IL28B than those with GT or TT genotypes (P = 0.04). Also, patients who were presented with cirrhosis (Cirr) only or with cirrhosis plus hepatocellular carcinoma (Cirr+HCC) had higher levels of serum IL28B when compared to chronic HCV-infected patients (P = 0.005 and 0.003, resp.). No significant association was found when serum levels of IL28B were compared to virus genotypes/subgenotypes. This study indicates that variation at SNP rs8099917 could predict the serum levels of IL28B in HCV-infected patients. Furthermore, IL28B serum level may serve as a useful marker for the development of HCV-associated sequelae.

Kimkong I, Chankaew J, Kunanopparat A, et al.
Gene polymorphisms of interleukin 28B and the risk to chronic hepatitis B virus infection in Thai.
Tissue Antigens. 2015; 85(3):177-81 [PubMed] Related Publications
In this study, we aimed to evaluate the effect of two single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of interleukin 28B (IL28B) (rs12979860C/T and rs8099917G/T) on chronic hepatitis B virus (CHB) infection in Thai population. We studied 375 subjects: 83 CHB with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients, 128 CHB without HCC and 164 individuals with self-limited HBV infection, by polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) and TaqMan allelic discrimination assay. Results revealed significant risk of IL28B rs8099917T allele associated with CHB without HCC compared with self-limited HBV [odds ratio (OR) (95% confidence interval (CI)) = 2.56 (1.08-6.28), P = 0.019]. The effect of this T allele was similar to that of an autosomal recessive gene in the presence of TT genotype compared with GG and GT genotype [OR (95% CI) = 2.70 (1.11-6.77), P = 0.016, P (logistic regression) = 0.048]. The two locus haplotype analysis of the two IL28B SNP loci did not show any association with CHB (P > 0.05). In conclusion, these results suggested a IL28B rs8099917T allele predispose for susceptibility to chronic HBV infection but not leading to HCC in Thai population.

Duca AM, de la Fuente S, Citores MJ, et al.
CC genotype at rs12979860 of IL28B is associated with lower risk of new-onset diabetes after transplantation in adult patients with liver transplantation for hepatitis C cirrhosis.
Transplant Proc. 2014; 46(9):3114-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: New-onset diabetes mellitus after transplantation (NODAT) in patients undergoing liver transplantation (LT) for hepatitis C virus (HCV)-related cirrhosis is associated with more aggressive HCV recurrence on the graft, rapid progression of fibrosis, and lower rate of sustained viral response to antiviral therapy. The CC genotype at rs12979860 of the IL28B is associated with greater rates of spontaneous clearance of HCV and response to antiviral therapy. IL28B acts on the interferon-stimulated genes through the JAK-STAT pathway, which is related to the development of insulin resistance. The aim of this study was to investigate whether IL28B rs12979860 polymorphism is associated with the development of NODAT after LT for cirrhosis owing to HCV infection.
METHODS: We analyzed 99 patients (age, 52.7 ± 9.4 years; 70% male) who underwent LT for HCV-related cirrhosis, with ≥1 year of follow-up and with available DNA sample. NODAT was defined starting from the sixth month after LT, according to the international consensus guidelines. Genotyping was carried out by real-time polymerase chain reaction and analysis of the melting temperature with the LightCycler 480 system.
RESULTS: Twenty-eight patients (28.3%) developed NODAT. CC genotype at rs12979860 of IL28B was associated with a lesser incidence of NODAT versus non-CC genotypes (P = .05; odds ratio, 0.31; 95% CI, 0.11-0.92). We did not find any association between NODAT and age at transplantation, gender, pretransplant body mass index, presence of hepatocellular carcinoma, type of initial immunosuppression (cyclosporine, tacrolimus or corticosteroids) or acute rejection treated with steroids.
CONCLUSION: The CC genotype at rs12979860 of IL28B is a protective factor for NODAT in patients with LT for HCV-related cirrhosis.

Probst M, Hoeller C, Ferenci P, et al.
IL28B polymorphism cannot predict response to interferon alpha treatment in patients with melanoma.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(11):e112613 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Recent genome-wide association studies revealed the rs12979860 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) of the IL28B gene (CC genotype) to be the strongest pre-therapeutic predictor of therapy response to interferon alpha in patients with chronic hepatitis C infection. The favorable CC genotype is associated with significantly higher rates of sustained virologic response. No data exist on the role of IL28B polymorphism in interferon therapy of diseases other than viral hepatitis.
METHODS: A retrospective study involving 106 patients with melanoma who received low- or high-dose interferon therapy was performed. The CC and non-CC genotype of IL28B rs12979860 SNP were correlated with progression-free and overall survival.
RESULTS: 44 (41.5%) patients were CC and 62 (58.5%) non-CC. There was no statistically significant difference in age at diagnosis, melanoma type or localization, Breslow level or AJCC stage between CC and non-CC patients. During the observation period (6.43±4.66 years) disease progression occurred in 36 (34%) patients after 5.5±4.3 years. 43.2% (19) of patients with CC and 27.4% (17) of patients with non-CC genotype were affected (p = 0.091). Disease progression was more frequent in patients on high dose interferon therapy and with a worse AJCC stage.
CONCLUSION: In contrast to classical risk factors like tumor thickness and clinical stage, IL28B polymorphism was not associated with progression-free or overall survival in patients with melanoma treated with interferon alpha.

Akkiz H, Kuran S, Akgöllü E, et al.
The role of interleukin 28B gene polymorphism in Turkish patients with hepatocellular carcinoma.
Ann Hepatol. 2014 Nov-Dec; 13(6):788-95 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND AND AIM: Multiple risk factors lead to hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) including viral infections, mutation and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Interleukin 28B (IL28B) gene rs12979860 polymorphism has been shown to be associated with HCC in the different populations, but its association with HCC has not been investigated in the Turkish population. We investigated whether the rs12979860 polymorphism of IL28B gene affects the risk of HCC.
MATERIAL AND METHOD: We performed genotyping analysis using polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) assay in a hospital-based case-control study of 187 confirmed HCC patients and 208 healthy subjects (cancer and viral infection negative) in the Turkish population.
RESULTS: The allele and genotype analysis showed no significant differences between the risk of HCC and IL28B gene rs12979860 polymorphism (OR = 1.10; 95% 0.59-2.08 P = 0.76 for genotype). However, in the HBV-related HCC subgroup, the TT genotype increased a 1.46-fold the risk of developing HCC, but not statistically significant (OR = 1.46; 95% 0.71-2.97 P = 0.30). Furthermore, no significant differences were found between clinical findings, and sex in comparison with the IL28B genotypes in HCC group (P > 0.05).
CONCLUSION: Our results suggest, for the first time, that no significant association were found between IL28B rs12979860 genotypes with the risk of developing HCC in Turkish patients. Further independent investigations are required to clarify the possible role of IL28B gene rs12979860 polymorphism on the risk of developing HCC in a larger series and also in patients of different ethnic origins.

Zekri AR, Salama H, Medhat E, et al.
IL28B rs12979860 gene polymorphism in Egyptian patients with chronic liver disease infected with HCV.
Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2014; 15(17):7213-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Egypt has one of the highest prevalences of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection worldwide. Although the IL28B gene polymorphism has been shown to modify the course of chronic HCV infection, this has not been properly assessed in the Egyptian population.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The IL28B rs12979860 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) was therefore examined in 256 HCV-infected Egyptian patients (group II) at different stages of disease progression and in 48 healthy volunteers (group I). Group II was subdivided into GII-A (chronic hepatitis patients, n=119), GII-B (post hepatitis cirrhosis, n=66) and GII-C (HCC on top of cirrhosis, n=71).
RESULTS: The C/T genotype was the commonest in all groups. It was more frequent in GI (52%) than in GII (48%). There was no significant difference in the frequency of C/T and C/C or T/T genotypes between groups and subgroups (p=0.82). Within the subgroups; the C/C genotype was more common in GII-B while C/T and T/T genotypes were more common in GII-C, though with no significant difference (p=0.59 and p=0.80). There was no significant association between IL28B rs12979860 SNP and viral load, ALT, AFP level, METAVIR scores for necro-inflammation and fibrosis, and Child-Pugh classification.
CONCLUSIONS: 1) IL28Brs12979860 C/T genotype is the commonest genotype in HCV-associated CH and HCC in Egypt. 2) IL28Brs12979860 polymorphisms are not associated with disease progression or aggression (histological staging, severity of fibrosis in CH or the incidence of post-HCV HCC). 3) Differences in IL28Brs12979860 genotypes could be a consequence of environmental or ethnic variation.

Ma N, Zhang X, Yu F, et al.
Role of IFN-ks, IFN-ks related genes and the DEPDC5 gene in Hepatitis B virus-related liver disease.
J Viral Hepat. 2014; 21(7):e29-38 [PubMed] Related Publications
Recent studies have associated genetic variation near the interleukin 28B (IL28B/IFN-λ3) gene with natural clearance of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, and a common variant in the DEP domain containing 5 (DEPDC5) locus on chromosome 22 has been shown to affect susceptibility to hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in Japanese individuals with chronic HCV infection. This study was conducted to determine whether polymorphisms near or in interferon-lambda (IFN-λs) genes and their receptor genes such as interleukin 28 receptor, alpha (IL28RA) and interleukin 10 receptor, beta (IL10RB) as well as p21-activated kinases 4 (PAK4) and iron/zinc purple acid phosphatase-like protein (PAPL), which are locate upstream of IFN-λs, and lastly the DEPDC5 gene are associated with hepatitis B virus-related liver disease in Han Chinese. The study subjects included 507 normal healthy controls, 350 individuals with natural clearance of HBV and 792 HBV-infected patients. The patients were categorized into 157 inactive carriers (Case I), 216 active carriers (Case II), 111 cirrhotics (Case III) and 308 HCC patients (Case IV) subgroups. Seven single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were genotyped using the Matrix-assisted Laser Desorption/Ionisation mass spectrometric (MALDI-TOF MS) SNP genotyping assay. Rs423058 upstream of PAPL, rs2834167 in IL10RB and rs1012068 in DEPDC5 were associated with chronic HBV status, HBV natural clearance and the presence of HCC (P = 0.0004–0.024), respectively. PAPL, IL10RB and DEPDC5 polymorphisms have an impact on progression of HBV-related liver disease. However, IFN-λs genes as a tool to differentiate between different clinical courses of HBV infection were not useful in the Han Chinese population.

Tunçbilek S
Relationship between cytokine gene polymorphisms and chronic hepatitis B virus infection.
World J Gastroenterol. 2014; 20(20):6226-35 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is still a public health problem worldwide, being endemic in some parts of the world. It can lead to serious liver diseases such as chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular cancer. The differences in host immune response can be one of the reasons for the various clinical presentations of HBV infection. Polymorphisms of genes encoding the proinflammatory and antiinflammatory cytokines, which are responsible for regulation of the immune response, can affect the clinical presentation of the infection. Particularly, the polymorphisms of the genes encoding cytokines such as interleukin (IL)-1, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, IL-18, IL-28B, interferon-γ, tumor necrosis factor-α, tumor growth factor-β1, and regulatory molecules like vitamin D receptor and chemokine receptor 5 can be responsible for different clinical presentations of HBV infections. The genomic information about cytokines and other mediators can be important for determining high-risk people for developing chronic hepatitis or hepatocellular cancer and may be used to plan treatment and preventive approaches for these people. In this review, the current knowledge in the literature on the association between cytokine/regulatory molecule gene polymorphisms and clinical course of chronic HBV infection is summarized, and the clinical implementations and future prospects regarding this knowledge are discussed.

De Re V, Gragnani L, Fognani E, et al.
Impact of immunogenetic IL28B polymorphism on natural outcome of HCV infection.
Biomed Res Int. 2014; 2014:710642 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
With the aim of investigating whether interleukin 28B gene (IL28B) rs1297860 polymorphism is associated with different hepatitis C (HCV) infection statuses, we compared IL28B allelic distribution in an Italian case series of 1050 patients with chronic infection and different outcomes, 47 individuals who spontaneously cleared HCV, and 178 blood donors. Furthermore, we compared IL28B variants among 3882 Caucasian patients with chronic infection, 397 with spontaneous clearance, and 1366 blood donors reported in PubMed. Overall data confirmed a relation between IL28B C allele and HCV spontaneous clearance. Furthermore, we found that IL28B T allele had a weak relation with chronic HCV progression to hepatocellular carcinoma. Study findings are in accordance with the hepatocellular carcinogenic model where IL28B TT genotype, by promoting a persistent chronic hepatitis which leads to both hepatocyte injury and chronic inflammation, could facilitate HCC development. Conversely, patients with lymphoproliferative disorders had not any significantly different IL28B rs1297860 allelic distribution than those with chronic HCV, but, like all chronic HCV-related diseases, they showed a lower CC frequency than patients who spontaneously cleared HCV. Study results confirmed the model of persistent HCV infection as a risk factor for the pathogenesis of both liver and lymphoproliferative disorders.

Kil H, Jeong SH, Kim JW, et al.
Role of interleukin-28B genetic polymorphisms in Korean patients with hepatitis C virus infection.
Gut Liver. 2014; 8(1):70-8 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIMS: This study investigated the role of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) near the interleukin-28B (IL28B) gene with respect to clinical outcomes and the antiviral response in hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection to suggest the practical utility of IL28B genotyping in Korea.
METHODS: Two SNPs near IL28B, rs12979860 and rs8099917, were analyzed using an allelic discrimination assay in a total of 454 individuals, including 147 health-check examinees and 307 patients with HCV infection.
RESULTS: The CC genotype frequency was significantly higher in the spontaneous recovery group than in the chronic infection group and was higher in the chronic hepatitis group than in the liver cirrhosis or hepatocellular carcinoma group, suggesting its favorable role in the clinical outcome. Multivariate analysis revealed that the rs12979860 CC genotype was an independent predictor of sustained virologic response (SVR) in genotype 1 HCV infection. During the currently used response-guided therapy, IL28B genotyping was most helpful for the patients who exhibit early virologic responses without rapid virologic responses, as those patients exhibiting the non-CC type did not achieve SVR, although they represented approximately one-third of the total patients.
CONCLUSIONS: The IL28B SNP is an independent predictor of SVR. Our results may be helpful if the findings are carefully applied to select patients in Korea.

McFarland AP, Horner SM, Jarret A, et al.
The favorable IFNL3 genotype escapes mRNA decay mediated by AU-rich elements and hepatitis C virus-induced microRNAs.
Nat Immunol. 2014; 15(1):72-9 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
IFNL3, which encodes interferon-λ3 (IFN-λ3), has received considerable attention in the hepatitis C virus (HCV) field, as many independent genome-wide association studies have identified a strong association between polymorphisms near IFNL3 and clearance of HCV. However, the mechanism underlying this association has remained elusive. In this study, we report the identification of a functional polymorphism (rs4803217) in the 3' untranslated region (UTR) of IFNL3 mRNA that dictated transcript stability. We found that this polymorphism influenced AU-rich element (ARE)-mediated decay (AMD) of IFNL3 mRNA, as well as the binding of HCV-induced microRNAs during infection. Together these pathways mediated robust repression of the unfavorable IFNL3 polymorphism. Our data reveal a previously unknown mechanism by which HCV attenuates the antiviral response and indicate new potential therapeutic targets for HCV treatment.

Spaniel C, Honda M, Selitsky SR, et al.
microRNA-122 abundance in hepatocellular carcinoma and non-tumor liver tissue from Japanese patients with persistent HCV versus HBV infection.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(10):e76867 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Mechanisms of hepatic carcinogenesis in chronic hepatitis B and hepatitis C are incompletely defined but often assumed to be similar and related to immune-mediated inflammation. Despite this, several studies hint at differences in expression of miR-122, a liver-specific microRNA with tumor suppressor properties, in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) associated with hepatitis B virus (HBV) versus hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Differences in the expression of miR-122 in these cancers would be of interest, as miR-122 is an essential host factor for HCV but not HBV replication. To determine whether the abundance of miR-122 in cancer tissue is influenced by the nature of the underlying virus infection, we measured miR-122 by qRT-PCR in paired tumor and non-tumor tissues from cohorts of HBV- and HCV-infected Japanese patients. miR-122 abundance was significantly reduced from normal in HBV-associated HCC, but not in liver cancer associated with HCV infection. This difference was independent of the degree of differentiation of the liver cancer. Surprisingly, we also found significant differences in miR-122 expression in non-tumor tissue, with miR-122 abundance reduced from normal in HCV- but not HBV-infected liver. Similar differences were observed in HCV- vs. HBV-infected chimpanzees. Among HCV-infected Japanese subjects, reductions in miR-122 abundance in non-tumor tissue were associated with a single nucleotide polymorphism near the IL28B gene that predicts poor response to interferon-based therapy (TG vs. TT genotype at rs8099917), and correlated negatively with the abundance of multiple interferon-stimulated gene transcripts. Reduced levels of miR-122 in chronic hepatitis C thus appear to be associated with endogenous interferon responses to the virus, while differences in miR-122 expression in HCV- versus HBV-associated HCC likely reflect virus-specific mechanisms contributing to carcinogenesis. The continued expression of miR-122 in HCV-associated HCC may signify an important role for HCV replication late in the progression to malignancy.

Suo GJ, Zhao ZX
Association of the interleukin-28B gene polymorphism with development of hepatitis virus-related hepatocellular carcinoma and liver cirrhosis: a meta-analysis.
Genet Mol Res. 2013; 12(3):3708-17 [PubMed] Related Publications
We examined the association of the interleukin-28B (IL-28B) gene rs12979860 T/C polymorphism with development of hepatitis virus-related hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and liver cirrhosis (LC). Two investigators independently searched the PubMed, Elsevier, EMBASE, Web of Science, Wiley Online Library, and Chinese National Knowledge Infrastructure data bases. Pooled odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (95%CIs) for rs12979860 and HCC/LC were calculated in a fixed-effect model (the Mantel-Haenszel method) and a random-effect model (the DerSimonian and Laird method) when appropriate. This meta-analysis included 7 eligible studies, with 1152 HCC and/or LC cases and 1326 controls. Overall, the rs12979860 T/C polymorphism was significantly associated with risk of hepatitis virus-related HCC and LC development (TT vs CC+CT, pooled OR = 1.597, 95%CI = 1.254-2.036). When they were grouped by type of hepatitis virus, similar results were found for hepatitis C virus-related groups (TT vs CC+CT, pooled OR = 1.732, 95%CI = 1.343-2.235, P value < 0.0001). In the overall analysis, the IL-28B rs12979860 T/C polymorphism was identified as a genetic risk factor for hepatitis virus-related HCC and LC development. A significant increase in the frequency of the T/T genotype was detected from chronic hepatitis to HCC and LC.

Xia P, Zhou M, Dong DS, et al.
Association of polymorphisms in interleukin-18 and interleukin-28B genes with outcomes of hepatitis B virus infections: a meta-analysis.
Tumour Biol. 2014; 35(2):1129-37 [PubMed] Related Publications
Several polymorphisms in the interleukin-18 (IL-18) and nterleukin-28B (IL-28B) genes have been reported to influence hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. However, the published findings have been conflicting. We conducted meta-analyses of randomized, controlled trials to address the association of IL-18 or IL-28B polymorphisms and the outcomes of HBV infection. Weipu, Wanfang, CNKI, MEDLINE, PubMed, EMBASE, and Cochrane Library databases were employed to search for citations using the MeSH terms as "interleukin-18"/"interleukin-28B" AND "HBV" AND "gene" AND "polymorphism" without any restriction in language and publication year. Meta-analysis was conducted by RevMan 5.0 software. The results showed that the IL28B rs8099917 AA genotype (AA vs AC + CC: odds ratio (OR) = 0.63, 95 % confidence interval (CI) = 0.46-0.87) was associated with a decreased risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Carriage of IL28B rs12979860 CC genotype was associated with an increased risk for developing liver cirrhosis among patients with HBV infection (CC vs CT + TT: OR = 1.39, 95 % CI = 1.04-1.85). Further well-designed large studies are warranted to confirm the mechanisms by which these are involved in these outcomes of HBV infection.

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