Association of two variants of the interferon-alpha receptor-1 gene with the presentation of hepatitis B virus infection

Eur Cytokine Netw. 2008 Dec;19(4):204-10. doi: 10.1684/ecn.2008.0137.


Interferon-alpha (IFNalpha) is a critical mediator of immunity to hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. Although IFN has been used in the treatment of viral hepatitis for more than a decade, the role of IFN-alpha-receptor in HBV infection has not been intensively studied. We have evaluated the impact of two variants of the IFNAR1 gene on the outcome of HBV infection. Four hundred and fifty eight HBV-infected Vietnamese patients, with well-characterised clinical profiles including all forms of hepatic disease, and 160 non-infected, healthy Vietnamese individuals were enrolled in the study. Of these patients, 54 had acute hepatitis B, 88 had chronic hepatitis B, 118 had liver cirrhosis, 146 had a hepatocellular carcinoma and 52 were asymptomatic carriers of HBV. We analysed two SNPs for unequal distribution between these groups. The first SNP, rs1012335 is situated in intron 3 of the interferon alpha receptor 1 (IFNAR1). A C at position 17470 in the IFNAR1 on both chromosomes was detected more frequently in HBV-infected patients compared to healthy controls (OR: 2.6; 95% CI: 1.46-4.72, p < 0.001). The same homozygosity is also associated with higher concentrations of AST and ALT (aspartate and alanine amino-transferase) in the plasma of the patients. The second SNP (rs2257167) is situated in exon 4, causing a change of amino acids from Val (GTT) to Leu (CTT). Subjects having GTT on both chromosomes were more frequent in the healthy control group (OR: 0.54, 95% CI: 0.35-0.84, p = 0.004) and had lower plasma ALT concentrations. The findings indicate that two variants of the IFNAR1 gene are associated with the clinical presentation of HBV infection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Health
  • Hepatitis B / genetics*
  • Hepatitis B / virology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mutation / genetics*
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide / genetics
  • Receptor, Interferon alpha-beta / genetics*


  • IFNAR1 protein, human
  • Receptor, Interferon alpha-beta