A novel variant marking HLA-DP expression levels predicts recovery from hepatitis B virus infection

Rasmi Thomas, Chloe L. Thio, Richard Apps, Ying Qi, Xiaojiang Gao, Darlene Marti, Judy L. Stein, Kelly A. Soderberg, M. Anthony Moody, James J. Goedert, Gregory D. Kirk, W. Keith Hoots, Steven Wolinsky, Mary Carrington

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

103 Scopus citations


Variants near the HLA-DP gene show the strongest genome-wide association with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection and HBV recovery/persistence in Asians. To test the effect of the HLA-DP region on outcomes to HBV infection, we sequenced the polymorphic HLA-DPB1 and DPA1 coding exons and the corresponding 3? untranslated regions (3?UTRs) in 662 individuals of European-American and African-American ancestry. The genome-wide association study (GWAS) variant (rs9277535; 550A/G) in the 3?UTR of the HLA-DPB1 gene that associated most significantly with chronic hepatitis B and outcomes to HBV infection in Asians had a marginal effect on HBV recovery in our European- and African-American samples (odds ratio [OR]=0.39, P= 0.01, combined ethnic groups). However, we identified a novel variant in the HLA-DPB1 3?UTR region, 496A/G (rs9277534), which associated very significantly with HBV recovery in both European and African-American populations (OR=0.37, P= 0.0001, combined ethnic groups). The 496A/G variant distinguishes the most protective HLA-DPB1 allele (DPB1*04:01) from the most susceptible (DPB1*01:01), whereas 550A/G does not. 496A/G has a stronger effect than any individual HLA-DPB1 or DPA1 allele and any other HLA alleles that showed an association with HBV recovery in our European-American cohort. The 496GG genotype, which confers recessive susceptibility to HBV persistence, also associates in a recessive manner with significantly higher levels of HLA-DP surface protein and transcript level expression in healthy donors, suggesting that differences in expression of HLA-DP may increase the risk of persistent HBV infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6979-6985
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jul 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology


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