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J Med Virol. 2014 Sep;86(9):1499-506. doi: 10.1002/jmv.23985. Epub 2014 May 29.

Associations between human TRIM22 gene expression and the response to combination therapy with Peg-IFNα-2a and ribavirin in Iranian patients with chronic hepatitis C.

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Department of Virology, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.


Interferons are able to exert an antiviral effect against hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection via induction of interferon-stimulated genes (ISGs). This study tested whether differential expression of an important ISG with antiviral properties, tripartite motif 22 (TRIM22), correlates with a response to Peg-IFNα-2a/RBV combination therapy in treatment-naive patients with chronic hepatitis C. A total of 32 patients with chronic hepatitis C were enrolled in this study and received standard Peg-IFNα-2a/RBV combination therapy. HCV viral load was measured during treatment, at the end of treatment, and 6 months later to determine the treatment outcome. Quantitative real-time PCR was used to assess the expression levels of TRIM22 in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of the patients before antiviral therapy. Of the 32 patients, 26 (81.3%) were males. In this study, there were 16 (50%) individuals with a sustained virologic response (SVR), and a virologic relapse was observed in the remaining half of the subjects. Testing for the presence of genomic HCV RNA in blood during therapy revealed a rapid virologic response (RVR) in 10 (31.2%) and a partial and complete early virologic response (EVR) in 8 (25%) and 24 (75%) of the cases, respectively. TRIM22 mRNA levels were significantly higher in patients with a sustained virologic response than in relapsers (P = 0.002) and in patients with a rapid virologic response than in the others (P = 0.040). No statistically significant difference was seen in the expression of TRIM22 between patients with a partial early virologic response and a complete early virologic response. This study showed that pretreatment upregulation of TRIM22 may be associated with responsiveness to Peg-IFNα-2a/RBV combination therapy.


hepatitis C virus; pegylated IFNα-2a; ribavirin; tripartite motif 22

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