[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is an important cause of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) worldwide. The pre-S1 and -S2 mutant large HBV surface antigen (LHBS), in which the pre-S1 and -S2 regions of the LHBS gene are partially deleted, are highly associated with HBV-related HCC.
The pre-S region of the LHBS gene in two hundred and one HBV-positive serum samples was PCR-amplified and sequenced. A pre-S oligonucleotide gene chip was developed to efficiently detect pre-S deletions in chronic HBV carriers. Twenty serum samples from chronic HBV carriers were analyzed using the chip.
The pre-S deletion rates were relatively low (7%) in the sera of patients with acute HBV infection. They gradually increased in periods of persistent HBV infection: pre-S mutation rates were 37% in chronic HBV carriers, and as high as 60% in HCC patients. The Pre-S Gene Chip offers a highly sensitive and specific method for pre-S deletion detection and is less expensive and more efficient (turnaround time 3 days) than DNA sequencing analysis.
The pre-S1/2 mutants may emerge during the long-term persistence of the HBV genome in carriers and facilitate HCC development. Combined detection of pre-S mutations, other markers of HBV replication, and viral titers, offers a reliable predictive method for HCC risks in chronic HBV carriers.