The Association of Genetic Variability in Patatin-Like Phospholipase Domain-Containing Protein 3 (PNPLA3) with Histological Severity of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Liver Diseases Branch, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892-1800, USA.
Hepatology (Impact Factor: 11.06). 09/2010; 52(3):894-903. DOI: 10.1002/hep.23759
Source: PubMed


Genome-wide association studies identified single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that are associated with increased hepatic fat or elevated liver enzymes, presumably reflecting nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). To investigate whether these SNPs are associated with histological severity of NAFLD, 1117 (894 adults/223 children) individuals enrolled in the Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH) Clinical Research Network and National Institutes of Health Clinical Center studies with histologically confirmed NAFLD were genotyped for six SNPs that are associated with hepatic fat or liver enzymes in genome-wide association studies. In adults, three SNPs on chromosome 22 showed associations with histological parameters of NASH. After adjustment for age, sex, diabetes, and alcohol consumption, the minor allele of rs738409 C/G, a nonsynonymous coding SNP in the patatin-like phospholipase domain-containing protein 3 (PNPLA3) (adiponutrin) gene encoding an Ile148Met change, was associated with steatosis (P = 0.03), portal inflammation (P = 2.5 x 10(-4)), lobular inflammation (P = 0.005), Mallory-Denk bodies (P = 0.015), NAFLD activity score (NAS, P = 0.004), and fibrosis (P = 7.7 x 10(-6)). Two other SNPs in the same region demonstrated similar associations. Three SNPs on chromosome 10 near the CHUK (conserved helix-loop-helix ubiquitous kinase) gene were independently associated with fibrosis (P = 0.010). In children, no SNP was associated with histological severity. However, the rs738409 G allele was associated with younger age at the time of biopsy in multivariate analysis (P = 0.045). CONCLUSION: In this large cohort of histologically proven NAFLD, we confirm the association of the rs738409 G allele with steatosis and describe its association with histological severity. In pediatric patients, the high-risk rs738409 G allele is associated with an earlier presentation of disease. We also describe a hitherto unknown association between SNPs at a chromosome 10 locus and the severity of NASH fibrosis.

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    • "As liver fibrosis progression remains variable between individuals with similar environmental or virological risks, host genetic predispositions have been suggested as another critical determinant [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13]. Patatin-like phospholipase domain-containing 3 (PNPLA3), known as adiponutrin, and the rs738409 C>G single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), which encodes for the I148M protein variant , have been well recognized as a genetic determinant of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), in terms of inflammation and fibrosis [14] [15] [16]. Although the issue remains debated [17], genetic variants of PNPLA3 have been associated with HCVrelated liver disease severity [18] [19] [20] [21]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background & aims: Genetic variants of patatin-like phospholipase domain-containing 3 (PNPLA3) and diabetes are associated with liver disease severity, in patients with chronic hepatitis C (CHC) infection. We aimed at exploring their interaction in determining hepatitis C virus (HCV)-related liver fibrosis. Methods: The PNPLA3 genetic polymorphism at rs738409 was verified in 1077 biopsy-proven CHC patients. Other clinical variables, including diabetes status, were analysed for factors associated with bridging fibrosis. Results: Patients with advanced liver fibrosis had higher proportions of the GG genotype (14.5% vs. 10.4%, p=0.06 in recessive model) and GG/GC genotype carriage (64.0% vs. 56.8%, p=0.03 in dominant model). Stepwise logistic regression analysis revealed that factors predictive of advanced liver fibrosis included age (odds ratio [OR]: 1.02, 95% confidence intervals [CI]: 1.008-1.037, p=0.002), diabetes (OR: 1.81, CI: 1.236-2.653, p=0.002), α-fetoprotein (OR: 1.006, CI: 1.001-1.01, p=0.01), platelet counts (OR: 1.009, CI: 1.006-1.012, p<0.001), and PNPLA3 rs738409 CG/GG genotype (OR: 1.34, CI: 1.006-1.785, p=0.046). When patients were grouped according to their diabetes status, the PNPLA3 genetic variants were associated with advanced liver fibrosis in diabetic patients only, but not in non-diabetic patients. The PNPLA3 gene was the most important predictive factor of bridging fibrosis in diabetic patients, using the recessive model (OR: 4.53, CI: 1.356-15.106, p=0.014) or the dominant model (OR: 2.20, CI: 1.026-4.734, p=0.04). Compared to non-diabetic patients, patients with the diabetes/GG genotype were more likely to have advanced liver fibrosis (OR: 8.79, CI: 2.889-26.719, p<0.001), followed by those with diabetes/non-GG genotype (OR: 1.55, CI: 1.048-2.286, p=0.03). Conclusions: The effect of PNPLA3 genetic variants in HCV-related advanced liver fibrosis was enhanced in diabetic patients. The strong genetic-environmental interaction contributed to the high risk of advanced liver disease in CHC patients.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · Journal of Hepatology
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    • "Variation in PNPLA3 gene contributes to ethnic and inter-individual differences in hepatic fat content and susceptibility to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) [11]. It was reported that the minor allele of rs738409 C/G, a nonsynonymous coding single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the PNPLA3 gene encoding I148M change, was associated with steatosis, portal inflammation, lobular inflammation, Mallory-Denk bodies, NAFLD activity score (NAS) and fibrosis [12]. The minor allele of rs738409 C/G is also strongly associated with hepatic fat content and with elevated serum levels of ALT and AST [11]–[15]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is associated with the development of cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma and is also related to fatty change of the liver. Variation in patatin-like phospholipase domain-containing 3 (PNPLA3) gene is associated with disease progression in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Recent reports have suggested that PNPLA3, IL28B and TLR4-associated single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) may have an impact on hepatic steatosis or fibrosis in patients with chronic HCV infection. Four SNPs (PNPLA3 rs738409, TLR4 rs4986790, TLR4 rs4986791, IL28B rs8099917) were identified in Japanese patients infected with HCV. We examined the association between the distribution of these SNP alleles and fatty change of the liver or existence of hepatic cirrhosis diagnosed by ultrasonography, one of the widely accessible and easy-to-use methods. PNPLA3 rs738409 G-allele and IL28B rs 8099917 minor allele were found in 70.0% and 31.1%, respectively. These two TLR4 SNPs were uniform in Japanese. Fatty change of the liver developed independent of the abscence of hepatic cirrhosis on sonographic findings and younger age. Hepatic cirrhosis was associated with a higher aspartate aminotransferase/platelet ratio index (APRI), no fatty change of the liver, higher BMI and higher AFP levels. No association between PNPLA3 rs738409/IL28B rs8099917 genotypes and hepatic steatosis or liver fibrosis was observed. According to ultrasound examinations, no association between PNPLA3 rs738409 genotype and fatty change of the liver or hepatic cirrhosis was found in Japanese patients infected with HCV. Together, our results suggested that the mechanism of hepatic steatosis underlying HCV infection might differ from that of NAFLD and should be explored.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2013 · PLoS ONE
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    • "We also revealed that the G allele is associated with a higher Wbrosis score but not with the other histological features of NAFLD. The association of rs738409 G allele with higher Wbrosis score was also observed in other studies (Hotta et al. 2010; Rotman et al. 2010; Valenti et al. 2010). One Asian study found that the G allele is associated with Wbrosis score but not with steatosis (Hotta et al. 2010). "
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    ABSTRACT: The adiponutrin (PNPLA3) rs738409 polymorphism has been found to be associated with susceptibility to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in various cohorts. We further investigated the association of this polymorphism with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) severity and with histological features of NAFLD. A total of 144 biopsy-proven NAFLD patients and 198 controls were genotyped for PNPLA3 gene polymorphism (rs738409 C>G). The biopsy specimens were histologically graded by a qualified pathologist. We observed an association of G allele with susceptibility to NAFLD in the pooled subjects (OR 2.34, 95% CI 1.69-3.24, p < 0.0001), and following stratification, in each of the three ethnic subgroups, namely Chinese, Indian and Malay (OR 1.94, 95% CI 1.12-3.37, p = 0.018; OR 3.51, 95% CI 1.69-7.26, p = 0.001 and OR 2.05, 95% CI 1.25-3.35, p = 0.005, respectively). The G allele is associated with susceptibility to NASH (OR 2.64, 95% CI 1.85-3.75, p < 0.0001), with NASH severity (OR 1.85, 95% CI 1.05-3.26, p = 0.035) and with presence of fibrosis (OR 1.95, 95% CI 1.17-3.26, p = 0.013) but not with simple steatosis nor with other histological parameters. Although the serum triglyceride level is significantly higher in NAFLD patients compared to controls, the G allele is associated with decreased level of triglycerides (p = 0.029) in the NAFLD patients. Overall, the rs738409 G allele is associated with severity of NASH and occurrence of fibrosis in patients with NAFLD.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2012 · Human Genetics
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