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Sex hormone pathway gene polymorphisms are associated with risk of advanced hepatitis C-related liver disease in males.

White DL, Liu Y, Garcia J, El-Serag HB, Jiao L, Tsavachidis S, Franco LM, Lee JS, Tavakoli-Tabasi S, Moore D, Goldman R, Kuzniarek J, Ramsey DJ, Kanwal F, Marcelli M. Sex hormone pathway gene polymorphisms are associated with risk of advanced hepatitis C-related liver disease in males. International journal of molecular epidemiology and genetics. 2014 Oct 22; 5(3):164-76.

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Abstract:

BACKGROUND: Males have excess advanced liver disease and cirrhosis risk including from chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection though the reasons are unclear. GOAL: To examine the role variants in genes involved in androgen and estrogen biosynthesis and metabolism play in HCV-related liver disease risk in males. METHODS: We performed a cross-sectional study evaluating single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 16 candidate genes involved in androgen and estrogen ligand and receptor synthesis and risk of advanced hepatic fibrosis (F3/F4-F4) and inflammation (A2/A3-A3). We calculated adjusted odds ratios (ORs) using logistic regression and used multifactor dimensionality reduction (MDR) analysis to assess for gene-environment interaction. RESULTS: Among 466 chronically HCV-infected males, 59% (n = 274) had advanced fibrosis and 54% (n = 252) had advanced inflammation. Nine of 472 SNPs were significantly associated with fibrosis risk; 4 in AKR1C3 (e.g., AKR1C3 rs2186174: ORadj = 2.04, 95% CI 1.38-3.02), 1 each in AKR1C2 and ESR1, and 1 in HSD17B6. Four SNPs were associated with inflammation risk, 2 in SRD5A1 (e.g., SRD5A1 rs248800: ORadj = 1.86, 95% CI 1.20-2.88) and 1 each in AKR1C2 and AKR1C3. MDR analysis identified a single AKR1C3 locus (rs2186174) as the best model for advanced fibrosis; while a 4-locus model with diabetes, AKR1C2 rs12414884, SRD5A1 rs6555406, and SRD5A1 rs248800 was best for inflammation. CONCLUSIONS: The consistency of our findings suggests AKR1C isoenzymes 2 and 3, and potentially SRD5A1, may play a role in progression of HCV-related liver disease in males. Future studies are needed to validate these findings and to assess if similar associations exist in females.





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