, Volume 39, Issue 6, pp 7019-7023
Date: 05 Feb 2012

Association of the microRNA-499 variants with susceptibility to hepatocellular carcinoma in a Chinese population

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microRNAs (miRNAs) are a new class of small non-coding RNAs that function as tumor suppressors or oncogenes. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in miRNA may contribute to cancer development. We hypothesized that genetic variations of the miRNA could be associated with the risk of hepatitis B virus (HBV)-related hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). A total of 100 patients with HCC, 100 cases of chronic hepatitis B and 100 health adults were enrolled in this present study. Two common polymorphisms in pre-miRNAs: Homo sapiens miRNA-146a (hsa-mir-146a) (rs291016, guanine to cytosine [G-C]) and hsa-mir-499 (rs3746444; adenine to guanine [C-T]) were genotyped by PCR-Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism and confirmed by bidirectional DNA sequencing. Significant differences were found in frequency and distribution of the genotypes of miRNA-499 between the HCC and the control group. Compared with miRNA-499 T/T, the odds ratio (OR) of patients with miRNA-499 C/C for developing HCC was 3.630 (95% CI: 1.545–8.532), and OR for developing HBV-related HCC was 3.133 (95% CI: 1.248–7.861). There was no significant association between miRNA-146a polymorphism and the risk of HCC in all subjects. Our results suggested that hsa-mir-499 polymorphism was associated with susceptibility to HBV-related HCC in Chinese population. Further characterization of miRNA SNPs may open new avenue for the study of cancer and therapeutic interventions.

Yu Xiang and Song Fan contributed equally to this work.