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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


eISSN: 2329-0358

Negative Correlation Between Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) and Let-7 MicroRNA Family in Transplanted Livers: The Role of rs868 Single-Nucleotide Polymorphism

Emir Ahmed Sajjad, Marek Radkowski, Agnieszka Perkowska-Ptasińska, Marek Pacholczyk, Magdalena Durlik, Mikołaj Fedorowicz, Renata Pietrzak, Bogna Ziarkiewicz-Wróblewska, Paweł Włodarski, Jacek Malejczyk

Department of Histology and Embryology, Centre for Biostructure Research, Medical University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland

Ann Transplant 2017; 22:638-645

DOI: 10.12659/AOT.905540

Available online:

Published: 2017-10-24


BACKGROUND: Genetic alterations of TGF-β pathway members, including its transmembrane receptor, TGFBR1, may influence the course of HCV infection. Rs868 is a single-nucleotide polymorphism of the 3’UTR region of TGFBR1, located in a binding site for the conserved let-7/miR98 microRNA family. Previously, we demonstrated a favorable course of hepatitis C recurrence after liver transplantation in rs868 AG genotype of the transplanted liver when compared to rs868 AA. The aim of the present study was to confirm the biological effect of rs868.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: HepG2 cell line was transfected with luciferase vectors cloned with 3’UTR of TGFBR1 gene encompassing different rs868 alleles. Post-transplant liver biopsies from 61 patients with HCV-related end-stage liver disease were evaluated histopathologically and analyzed for the expression of TGFBR1 mRNA, let-7/miR98 microRNAs, HCV RNA load, and rs868 genotype.
RESULTS: Luciferase expression was significantly lower in the A allele-containing vector. TGFBR1 mRNA and HCV RNA load were correlated negatively with let-7/miR98 microRNAs and this correlation was significantly stronger for rs868 AG compared to AA genotype. A strong positive correlation was demonstrated between TGFBR1 and HCV in both genotypes. In AG heterozygotes, let-7/miR98 microRNAs showed a strong negative correlation with periportal or periseptal interface hepatitis (Ishak A score).
CONCLUSIONS: There is a negative correlation between let-7/miR98 microRNAs and HCV viral load and TGFBR1 mRNA after liver transplantation. In the rs868 AG heterozygotes, this correlation was stronger and there was a negative correlation between let-7/miR98 and Ishak A score, which is in concordance with the previously demonstrated protective role of this genotype in post-transplant hepatitis C recurrence.

Keywords: Hepacivirus, Liver Transplantation