Journal Article Quasispecies variant of pre-S/S gene in HBV-related hepatocellular carcinoma with HBs antigen positive and occult infection

Hatazawa, Yuri  ,  Yano, Yoshihiko  ,  Okada, Rina  ,  Tanahashi, Toshihito  ,  Hayashi, Hiroki  ,  Hirano, Hirotaka  ,  Minami, Akihiro  ,  Kawano, Yuki  ,  Tanaka, Motofumi  ,  Fukumoto, Takumi  ,  Murakami, Yoshiki  ,  Yoshida, Masaru  ,  Hayashi, Yoshitake

13p.7 , 2018-02-02 , BioMed Central
Background: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) can develop in patients who are negative for the hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) in serum but positive for hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA in the liver, referred to as occult HBV infection (OBI). Previous reports showed that HBV variants in OBI-related HCC are different from those in HBsAg-positive HCC. In the present study, HBV quasispecies based on the pre-S/S gene in OBI-related HCC patients were examined by high throughput sequencing and compared with those in HBsAg-positive HCC. Methods: Nineteen tissue samples (9 OBI-related and 10 HBsAg-positive non-cancerous tissues) were collected at the time of surgery at Kobe University Hospital. The quasispecies with more than 1% variation in the pre-S/S region were isolated and analysed by ultra-deep sequencing. Results: There were no significant differences in the major HBV populations, which exhibit more than 20% variation within the entire pre-S/S region, between OBI-related HCC and HBsAg-positive HCC. However, the prevalences of major populations with pre-S2 region mutations and of minor populations with polymerized human serum albumin-binding domain mutations were significantly higher in OBI-related HCC than in HBsAg-positive HCC. Moreover, the major variant populations associated with the B-cell epitope, located within the pre-S1 region, and the a determinant domain, located in the S region, were detected frequently in HBsAg-positive HCC. The minor populations of variants harbouring the W4R, L30S, Q118R/Stop, N123D and S124F/P mutations in the pre-S region and the L21F/S and L42F/S mutations in the S region were detected more frequently in OBI-related HCC than in HBsAg-positive HCC. Conclusions: Ultra-deep sequencing revealed that the B-cell epitope domain in the pre-S1 region and alpha determinant domain in the S region were variable in HBsAg-positive HCC, although the quasispecies associated with the pre-S2 region were highly prevalent in OBI-related HCC.

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