The relationship of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in patatin-like phospholipase domain containing 3 (PNPLA3) rs738409, transmembrane 6 superfamily member 2 (TM6SF2) rs58542926, and membrane bound O-acyltransferase domain containing 7 (MBOAT7) rs641738 with outcomes in patients with hepatitis C infection (HCV) is unclear. This study aimed to evaluate the association of PNPLA3, TM6SF2, and MBOAT7 with the baseline fibrosis stage and progression of liver fibrosis after HCV eradication with direct antiviral agents (DAAs). A total of 171 patients who received the DAAs at the Peking University First Hospital between June 2015 and June 2020 were included in the retrospective cohort. Transient elastography was used to determine liver stiffness measurements (LSMs) at the baseline, the end of treatment (EOT), 24 weeks after treatment (W24), and the last follow-up (LFU) visit. We used the QIAamp Blood Mini Kit (Qiagen) for whole blood genomic DNA extraction and polymerase chain reaction for PNPLA3, TM6SF2, and MBOAT7 amplification of the target gene. The PNPLA3 rs738409 SNP was associated with the baseline fibrosis stage in multivariate logistic regression analysis adjusted for other factors, and the adjusted odds ratio (OR) for advanced fibrosis (≥F3) at baseline was 2.52 (95% confidence interval[CI] = 1.096-5.794, p = 0.03). The G and GG alleles were predictive of advanced fibrosis (OR = 1.98, 95% CI = 1.021-4.196, p = 0.015; OR = 3.12, 95% CI = 1.572-6.536, p = 0.005). Similarly, the OR of TM6SF2 rs58542926 at baseline was 2.608 (95% CI = 1.081-6.29, p = 0.033). T and TT alleles were predictive of advanced fibrosis (OR = 2.3, 95% CI = 1.005-5.98, p = 0.007; OR = 3.05, 95% CI = 1.32-6.87, p = 0.001). After adjustment, the MBOAT7 rs641738 T plus TT alleles were not independently associated with the baseline fibrosis stage (95% CI = 0.707-2.959, p = 0.312). At the EOT, there were 35 patients and 136 patients in the fibrosis improvement and fibrosis non-improvement group, respectively. Logistic regression analysis showed that the G allele in PNPLA3 rs738409 was associated with fibrosis progression (OR = 2.47, 95% CI = 1.125-5.89, p = 0.003). The GG alleles were predictive of fibrosis progression (OR = 2.95, 95% CI = 1.35-6.35, p = 0.005). Similarly, the ORs of the T and TT alleles in TM6SF2 rs58542926 for fibrosis progression were 1.82 and 2.21, respectively (95% CI = 1.006-5.373, p = 0.045; 95% CI = 1.18-5.75, p = 0.01). At the W24 visit, we found that there was an association between the G allele in PNPLA3 rs738409 and fibrosis progression (OR = 2.218, 95% CI = 1.095-5.631, p = 0.015). Moreover, GG alleles were also predictive for fibrosis progression (OR = 2.558, 95% CI = 1.252-5.15, p = 0.008). Similarly, the OR of T allele and TT alleles in TM6SF2 rs58542926 for fibrosis progression was 2.056 and 2.652 (95% CI = 1.013-5.592, p = 0.038; 95% CI = 1.25-5.956, p = 0.015). For additional affirmation, we surveyed fibrosis progression utilizing the Cox proportional hazards model. G and GG alleles in PNPLA3 rs738409 were associated with an increased risk of progression to advanced fibrosis in multivariate model (hazard ratio [HR]1.566, 95% CI = 1.02-2.575, p = 0.017; and HR2.109, 95% CI = 1.36-3.271, p = 0.001, respectively). Besides, T and TT alleles in TM6SF2 rs58542926 were associated with an increased risk of progression to advanced fibrosis in multivariate model (HR = 1.322, 95% CI = 1.003-1.857, p = 0.045; and HR = 1.855, 95% CI = 1.35-2.765, p = 0.006, respectively). In contrast, rs641738 in MBOAT7 did not show a significant trend in the univariate and multivariate models. The PNPLA3 CG/GG SNP at rs738409 and TM6SF2 CT/TT SNP at rs58542926 were associated with the baseline fibrosis stage and fibrosis progression after HCV eradication with DAAs.
Keywords: Fibrosis; Hepatitis C; MBOAT7; PNPLA3; TM6SF2.
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