Altered serum N-glycomics in chronic hepatitis B patients

Authors

  • Hong-lian Gui,

    1. Department of Infectious Diseases, Jiaotong University School of Medicine, Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai, China
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    • *Contributed equally.

  • Chun-fang Gao,

    1. Department of Laboratory Medicine, Second Military Medical University, Eastern Hepatobiliary Hospital, Shanghai, China
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    • *Contributed equally.

  • Hui Wang,

    1. Department of Infectious Diseases, Jiaotong University School of Medicine, Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai, China
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    • *Contributed equally.

  • Xue-en Liu,

    1. Department for Molecular Biomedical Research, VIB and Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium
    2. Department of Biomedical Molecular Biology, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium
    3. Department of Microbiology, Peking University Health Science Center, Beijing, China
      [Correction added after online publication 11 Dec 2009: Qing Xie has been added as a second Corresponding Author.]
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  • Qing Xie,

    1. Department of Infectious Diseases, Jiaotong University School of Medicine, Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai, China
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  • Sylviane Dewaele,

    1. Department for Molecular Biomedical Research, VIB and Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium
    2. Department of Biomedical Molecular Biology, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium
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  • Ling Wang,

    1. Department of Microbiology, Peking University Health Science Center, Beijing, China
      [Correction added after online publication 11 Dec 2009: Qing Xie has been added as a second Corresponding Author.]
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  • Hui Zhuang,

    1. Department of Microbiology, Peking University Health Science Center, Beijing, China
      [Correction added after online publication 11 Dec 2009: Qing Xie has been added as a second Corresponding Author.]
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  • Roland Contreras,

    1. Department for Molecular Biomedical Research, VIB and Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium
    2. Department of Biomedical Molecular Biology, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium
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  • Claude Libert,

    1. Department for Molecular Biomedical Research, VIB and Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium
    2. Department of Biomedical Molecular Biology, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium
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  • Cuiying Chen

    1. Department for Molecular Biomedical Research, VIB and Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium
    2. Department of Biomedical Molecular Biology, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium
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Correspondence
Cuiying Chen, Department for Molecular Biomedical Research, VIB and Ghent University, Technologiepark 927, B-9052 Ghent, Belgium
Tel: +32 93313702
Fax: +32 93313609
e-mail: chitty@dmbr.ugent.be
Qing Xie, Department of Infectious Diseases, Jiaotang University School of Medicine, Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai, China e-mail: xieqingrj@yahoo.com.cn

Abstract

Background: We previously reported on serum N-glycans as markers for the diagnosis of cirrhosis in patients with chronic hepatitis C infection. Our present study aimed to evaluate the use of serum glycan markers for the diagnosis of liver fibrosis in patients with chronic hepatitis B infection.

Methods: Patients with hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection (n=173) were diagnosed by clinical laboratory analysis and histological examination. Liver fibrosis was staged using Ishak score. N-glycan profiles of serum proteins were determined by DNA sequencer-based carbohydrate analytical profiling.

Results: We found that in HBV patients, like in hepatitis C virus patients, several serum N-glycans were altered during the development of liver fibrosis. We found higher levels of total agalactosylated biantennary glycans in fibrosis patients with HBV infection than in healthy controls. The biantennary (NA2) and the triantennary (NA3) N-glycans decreased significantly (P<0.001) with increased severity of fibrosis. The diagnostic power of serum glycan marker (GlycoFibroTest) [area under the curve (AUC)=0.735) was similar to that of FibroTest (AUC=0.740) for discriminating between moderate and advanced fibrosis (F3–F6) from non- or mild fibrosis (F0–F2). However, GlycoFibroTest (AUC=0.740) was slightly better than FibroTest (AUC=0.696) for distinguishing fibrotic patients (F1 or more) from non-fibrotic patients (F0).

Conclusions: The assay for serum glycan profiling showed satisfactory reproducibility and is a non-invasive blood test for the diagnosis of liver fibrosis. The changes of N-glycan level in serum can be used to monitor or follow-up the progress of fibrosis using specific N-glycan markers.

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