Analysis of the core gene of hepatitis B virus in Korean patients
Article first published online: 29 MAR 2007
Volume 27, Issue 5, pages 633–638, June 2007
How to Cite
Kim, H. J., Lee, D. H., Gwak, G.-Y., Choi, M. S., Lee, J. H., Koh, K. C., Paik, S. W. and Yoo, B. C. (2007), Analysis of the core gene of hepatitis B virus in Korean patients. Liver International, 27: 633–638. doi: 10.1111/j.1478-3231.2007.01481.x
- Issue published online: 29 MAR 2007
- Article first published online: 29 MAR 2007
- Received 16 January 2007accepted 13 February 2007
- core gene substitution;
- HBV DNA;
- Hepatitis B virus;
Background/Aims: As the core gene of hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a major immunological target, its mutation may evoke or evade immune clearance. We investigated the frequency and location of HBV core gene substitutions according to hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) status and viral replication status, and evaluated the association of these substitutions with the different stages of chronic HBV infection in Korean patients.
Methods: The study population included 45 HBeAg-positive/DNA-positive patients (group I), 49 HBeAg-negative/DNA-positive patients (II) and 50 HBeAg-negative/DNA-negative patients (III). The HBV core gene was analysed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and sequencing.
Results: The frequency of core gene substitutions increased from group I to group III. Substitutions were commonly detected at codons 87, 97, 112 and 130. The frequency of substitutions at codons 87 and 112 was higher in groups II/III than in group I. The frequency of the codon I97F substitutions was the highest in group III. However, the codon 130 substitution was more frequently found in groups I/II than in group III.
Conclusion: Core gene substitutions were more frequently detected in HBeAg-negative and/or HBV DNA-negative patients. The substitutional hot spots were codons 87, 97, 112 and 130; substitutions at these codons might play a role in immune-modulation during the course of chronic HBV infection.