Association between the IFNA1 (-2Cx2192;T) Polymorphism and Increased IFNAR1 Gene Expression Levels in Chronic Hepatitis B Infection

Intervirology. 2015;58(6):393-402. doi: 10.1159/000444365. Epub 2016 Apr 22.


Background: Single nucleotide polymorphisms and variant expression of some interferon (IFN) genes in individuals with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection might be related to higher viral load and disease complications. Thereby, whole blood samples of 208 patients (94 chronic HBV-infected patients and 114 HBV immune subjects) were analyzed to investigate the association between IFNG (-5Ax2192;G), IFNA1 (-2Cx2192;T) and IFNAR1 (-97Tx2192;C) genes with their expression levels and HBV viral load.

Methods: Genotyping was performed by high-resolution melting analysis with quantitative PCR (qPCR). Viral load quantification and gene expression were also carried out using qPCR.

Results: Chronic HBV-infected subjects with IFNA1 CT genotype and T allele were more likely to develop protection against HBV when compared to immune subjects with wild-type genotype (IFNA1 CT/CC: OR = 0.45, p = 0.01, and T/C allele: OR = 0.55; p < 0.01). In patients with IFNAR1 wild-type TT genotype, the expression levels of this receptor may explain the lower viral load (r(2) = 0.40; p = 0.04) and protection against chronic infection.

Conclusions: These findings suggest that the polymorphic variant of IFNA1 (-2) gene is associated with chronic HBV infection, and high expression levels of the IFNAR1 gene and low levels of IFNA1 might contribute to the pathogenesis of chronic infection in these subjects.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alleles
  • Brazil / epidemiology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Hepatitis B virus / genetics*
  • Hepatitis B, Chronic / virology*
  • Humans
  • Interferon-alpha / genetics*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide / genetics*
  • Receptor, Interferon alpha-beta / genetics*
  • Viral Load


  • IFNA1 protein, human
  • IFNAR1 protein, human
  • Interferon-alpha
  • Receptor, Interferon alpha-beta