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Oncotarget. 2016 Oct 18;7(42):67777-67787. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.11955.

Interferon-stimulated gene 15 in hepatitis B-related liver diseases.

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Institute of Tropical Medicine, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany.
108 Military Central Hospital, Hanoi, Vietnam.
Vietnamese-German Center for Medical Research, Hanoi, Vietnam.
Department of Pathophysiology, Vietnam Military Medical University, Hanoi, Vietnam.
Department of Infectious Diseases, Robert Koch Institute, Berlin, Germany.


This study investigates the association of Interferon-stimulated gene 15 (ISG15) polymorphisms, ISG15 serum levels and expression with HBV-related liver diseases. The ISG15 promoter and the two exons of the gene were screened for polymorphisms in 766 HBV-infected patients and in 223 controls. Soluble ISG15 levels were measured by ELISA. ISG15 mRNA expression was quantified by qRT-PCR in 36 tumor and adjacent non-tumor tissues. The exon 2 allele rs1921A was found associated with decreased progression of HBV-related liver diseases (LC vs. CHB: OR = 0.6, 95%CI = 0.4-0.8, adjusted P = 0.003; HCC vs. CHB: OR = 0.6, 95%CI = 0.4-0.9, adjusted P = 0.005). The rs1921AA genotype was associated with low levels of AST, ALT and total bilirubin, but with high prothrombin levels (P < 0.05). ISG15 serum levels were higher among HBV patients compared to controls (P < 0.0001) and positively associated with HBV-related liver diseases, with highest levels among LC patients. ISG15 levels were correlated with HBV-DNA loads (P = 0.001). In non-tumor tissues from HCC patients, ISG15 mRNA expression was increased in HBV compared to non-HBV infection (P = 0.016). The ISG15 rs1921 variant and ISG15 expression are associated with HBV-related liver diseases. Taken together, ISG15 appears to be a proviral factor involved in HBV replication and triggering progression of HBV-related liver diseases.


HBV infection; ISG15; ISG15 polymorphism; ISGlation; Pathology Section; liver diseases

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