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Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2018 Mar 27;19(3):585-590.

Significant SNPs Related to Telomere Length and Hepatocellular Carcinoma Risk in Chronic Hepatitis B Carriers

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Liver and Pancreatobiliary Diseases Research Center, Digestive Disease Research Institute, Shariati Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran. Email:


Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection increases the risk of developing cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) with suspected interactions between virus replication and host immune responses. A number of reports have suggested that telomerase function may be involved in chronic hepatitis B (CHB) pathogenesis, but positive or negative associations with HCC risk remain for discussion. Mean telomere length is an indicator of biological aging and it has been reported that reduction in NBV carriers compared to normal individuals. In somatic cells, telomeres contain simple, tandemly repeated G-rich sequences that frequently are reduced by 50 to 200 base pairs at each cell division. Several genome-wide association studies (GWAS) in diverse ethnic populations have revealed eleven single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) linked to telomere length. Two of these, rs398652 and rs621559, have prognostic value and could be used as genetic markers. This review describes current knowledge concerning telomerase activity and telomere length as well as significant polymorphisms in HBV-related HCC patients. In particular, to cast light on genotype-phenotype interactions, we used SNPnexus to evaluate effects of the two SNPs on risk of disease and complex disorders.


Chronic hepatitis B (CHB); hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC); SNPs; telomere length; SNPnexus

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