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Hepatology. 2017 Jun;65(6):1840-1850. doi: 10.1002/hep.29064. Epub 2017 Apr 28.

The membrane-bound O-acyltransferase domain-containing 7 variant rs641738 increases inflammation and fibrosis in chronic hepatitis B.

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Storr Liver Centre, Westmead Institute for Medical Research, Westmead Hospital and University of Sydney, NSW, Australia.
Biochemistry Department, Faculty of Pharmacy, Minia University, Minia, Egypt.
Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, Institute of Digestive Disease and State Key Laboratory of Digestive Disease, the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
Sezione di Gastroenterologia, DiBiMIS, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy.
Division of Hepatology, Ospedale Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza, IRCCS, San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy.
Section of Hepatology, Clinic for Gastroenterology and Rheumatology, University Clinic Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany.
Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Erasmus MC-University Medical Center Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Medical Science, University of Turin, Turin, Italy.


Chronic hepatitis B (CHB) is characterized by hepatic inflammation that promotes progression to cirrhosis and predisposes to the development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Subtle interindividual genetic variation as well as viral and environmental factors interact to determine disease progression between individuals. Recently, the rs641738 membrane-bound O-acyltransferase domain-containing 7 (MBOAT7) polymorphism was demonstrated to influence histological liver damage in alcoholic liver disease, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and hepatitis C, but no data are available for CHB. We evaluated rs641738 influence on disease severity in a cohort of 1,101 patients with CHB. Forty-two patients underwent gene expression analysis to assess the functional consequences of rs641738 on hepatic MBOAT7 expression. The minor allele (T) of rs641738 was associated with greater inflammation (odds ratio [OR], 1.45; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.06-1.95; P = 0.001) and fibrosis (OR = 1.31; 95% CI, 1.19-1.92; P = 0.01). Risk allele frequency in whites (0.43) was greater than in Chinese (0.24), translating to a larger size effect in the former. The rs641738 (T) allele was associated with lower hepatic MBOAT7 expression (P = 0.008), and the latter was associated with serum liver enzymes and inflammation. Neither patatin-like phospholipase domain-containing protein 3 rs738409 nor transmembrane 6 superfamily member 2 rs58542926 polymorphisms influenced disease severity.


In patients with CHB, MBOAT7 rs641738 influences hepatic inflammation and fibrosis stage. (Hepatology 2017;65:1840-1850).

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