Background & Aims: Numerous single nucleotide polymorphisms associated with an increased risk of liver diseases, chronic hepatitis B and chronic hepatitis B-related hepatocellular carcinoma have been identified. In this study, we scrutinized the genetic effects of C2 variants, which were conflicting in previous results, on the risk of chronic hepatitis B in a Korean population. Methods: We genotyped 22 common C2 genetic variants of 977 chronic hepatitis B cases including 302 chronic hepatitis B-related hepatocellular carcinoma cases and 785 population controls. Statistical analysis was performed to examine the effects of genotype on the risk of chronic hepatitis B and chronic hepatitis B-related hepatocellular carcinoma. Results: Logistic regression analyses showed that six C2 single nucleotide polymorphisms had significant associations with the risk of chronic hepatitis B and chronic hepatitis B-related hepatocellular carcinoma among the Korean subjects. Stepwise analysis revealed that causal markers (rs9267665 and rs10947223) were identified among the C2 variants (stepwise P = 3.32 × 10 −9 and 2.04 × 10 −5 respectively). In further conditional analysis with previous chronic hepatitis B-associated loci, these two single nucleotide polymorphisms were independently associated with the risk of chronic hepatitis B. In addition, we investigated the ability of genetic risk scores combining 12 multi-chronic hepatitis B loci to predict the risk of chronic hepatitis B. Individuals with higher genetic risk scores showed increased risk for chronic hepatitis B. Conclusions: Our results suggested that the C2 gene might be a susceptibility locus for chronic hepatitis B in Korean populations. The cumulative genetic effects may contribute to future etiological explanations for chronic hepatitis B.
- chronic hepatitis B
- complement component 2
- genetic risk score
- single nucleotide polymorphism