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01.09.2009 | Original Article | Ausgabe 9/2009

Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy 9/2009

−509C>T polymorphism in the TGF-β1 gene promoter, impact on the hepatocellular carcinoma risk in Chinese patients with chronic hepatitis B virus infection

Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy > Ausgabe 9/2009
Peng Qi, Yue-ming Chen, Hao Wang, Meng Fang, Qiang Ji, Yun-peng Zhao, Xiao-juan Sun, Yan Liu, Chun-fang Gao


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most common malignant tumors worldwide. The risk for developing HCC increases with severity of inflammation and fibrosis. Transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) is most frequently upregulated in tumor cells. The most studied −509C>T polymorphism of TGF-β1 gene has been associated with colorectal, gynecologic, and lung cancers. To assess whether this polymorphism in TGF-β1 gene is associated with susceptibility to and/or clinicopathologic characteristics of HBV-related HCC, a total of 575 patients with chronic HBV infection and 299 healthy volunteers with no evidence of recent or remote HBV infection were prospectively enrolled. The patients were divided into two groups: those without (n = 196) and those with HCC (n = 379). These 379 HCC patients with chronic HBV infection were designated as cases, the remaining 196 patients without HCC and 299 healthy volunteers served as disease and healthy controls, respectively. −509C>T polymorphism in the TGF-β1 gene promoter was studied using restriction fragment-length polymorphism. In addition, tumor tissues of liver (n = 60) were obtained from the studied HCC patients for measurement of TGF-β1 mRNA expression levels. We also assessed the plasma TGF-β1 levels of HBV patients without (n = 94) or with HCC (n = 136) and healthy subjects (n = 120). In our study group, the risk of HCC in Chinese patients with HBV infection was significantly lower with the TT genotypes than in those with the CC genotypes at position −509 of TGF-β1 gene (P = 0.01). In addition, in the case group, patients with the CC genotype had a statistically significant higher median plasma TGF-β1 or liver tumor tissue TGF-β1 mRNA level compared with the individuals with the TT genotype. However, in a subsequent analysis of the association between this polymorphism and clinicopathological characteristics including tumor number, size, grade, stage, and invasiveness, there was no significant difference in both the distribution of genotype or allelic frequency within HCC patients, indicating that −509C>T exchange in TGF-β1 gene may play an important role in the occurrence, not the progression of HBV-related HCC through influencing plasma concentrations of TGF-β1 or TGF-β1 mRNA expression of liver tumor tissue.

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