A genome-wide association study of chronic hepatitis B identified novel risk locus in a Japanese population

Hum Mol Genet. 2011 Oct 1;20(19):3884-92. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddr301. Epub 2011 Jul 12.


Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a major health issue worldwide which may lead to hepatic dysfunction, liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. To identify host genetic factors that are associated with chronic hepatitis B (CHB) susceptibility, we previously conducted a two-stage genome-wide association study (GWAS) and identified the association of HLA-DP variants with CHB in Asians; however, only 179 cases and 934 controls were genotyped using genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) arrays. Here, we performed a second GWAS of 519 747 SNPs in 458 Japanese CHB cases and 2056 controls. After adjustment with the previously identified variants in the HLA-DP locus (rs9277535), we detected strong associations at 16 loci with P-value of <5 × 10(-5). We analyzed these loci in three independent Japanese cohorts (2209 CHB cases and 4440 controls) and found significant association of two SNPs (rs2856718 and rs7453920) within the HLA-DQ locus (overall P-value of 5.98 × 10(-28) and 3.99 × 10(-37)). Association of CHB with SNPs rs2856718 and rs7453920 remains significant even after stratification with rs3077 and rs9277535, indicating independent effect of HLA-DQ variants on CHB susceptibility (P-value of 1.52 × 10(-21)- 2.38 × 10(-30)). Subsequent analyses revealed DQA1*0102-DQB1*0604 and DQA1*0101-DQB1*0501 [odds ratios (OR) =0.16, and 0.39, respectively] as protective haplotypes and DQA1*0102-DQB1*0303 and DQA1*0301-DQB1*0601 (OR = 19.03 and 5.02, respectively) as risk haplotypes. These findings indicated that variants in antigen-binding regions of HLA-DP and HLA-DQ contribute to the risk of persistent HBV infection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group / genetics*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease*
  • Genome-Wide Association Study*
  • HLA-DP Antigens / genetics*
  • HLA-DQ Antigens / genetics*
  • Hepatitis B, Chronic / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • Risk Factors


  • HLA-DP Antigens
  • HLA-DQ Antigens