Variation in genes encoding for interferon λ-3 and λ-4 in the prediction of HCV-1 treatment-induced viral clearance

Liver Int. 2014 Oct;34(9):1369-77. doi: 10.1111/liv.12411. Epub 2013 Dec 23.


Background & aims: In patients with chronic HCV-1 infection, recent evidences indicate that determination of a dinucleotide polymorphism (ss469415590, ΔG/TT) of a new gene, designated IFN λ-4, might be more accurate than the 12979860CC type of the IL28B locus in predicting sustained virological response (SVR) following peg-interferon and ribavirin. In addition, combined genotyping of different SNPs of the IL28B locus was shown to help dissect patients most prone to SVR among those with rs12979860CT. We examined whether single or combined genotyping of two IL28B SNPs, rs12979860 and rs8099917, and ss469415590 variation might improve the prediction of SVR.

Results: In the study cohort of 539 patients, 38% had SVR. The SNPs 12979860CC, rs8099917TT, and rs469415590TT/TT correlated significantly with SVR (68%, 50%, and 67%). Carriers of either the triplotype rs12979860CC_ss469415590TT/TT_rs8099917TT or the diplotype rs12979860CC_ss469415590TT/TT had the highest SVR rate (72%). In carriers of the rs12979860 T allele, neither the rs8099917 nor the ss469415590 improved the response prediction. After pooling this finding with data from previous studies, in rs12979860 T heterozygous individuals the co-presence of the rs8099917TT SNP was associated with improved response prediction.

Conclusion: In HCV-1 patients, the rs12979860 polymorphism appeared as the hit SNP better predicting response following peg-interferon and ribavirin treatment. Additional ss469415590 or rs8099917 genotyping had no added benefit for response prediction. In the subset of carriers of the rs12979860 T allele, genotyping of the rs8099917 SNP was unhelpful in the present investigation, but may inform clinical prediction of treatment response when our data were pooled with previous investigations.

Keywords: HCV; IL28B/interferon lambda-3 gene; chronic hepatitis; interferon lambda-4 gene; peg-interferon/ribavirin.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Gene Frequency
  • Hepatitis C / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Interferon-alpha / pharmacology
  • Interferon-alpha / therapeutic use
  • Interferons
  • Interleukins / genetics*
  • Linkage Disequilibrium
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polyethylene Glycols / pharmacology
  • Polyethylene Glycols / therapeutic use
  • Polymorphism, Genetic / genetics*
  • Recombinant Proteins / pharmacology
  • Recombinant Proteins / therapeutic use
  • Ribavirin / pharmacology
  • Ribavirin / therapeutic use
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Viral Load / drug effects


  • IFNL3 protein, human
  • IFNL4 protein, human
  • Interferon-alpha
  • Interleukins
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Polyethylene Glycols
  • Ribavirin
  • Interferons
  • peginterferon alfa-2a