Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms in STAT3 and STAT4 and Risk of Hepatocellular Carcinoma in Thai Patients with Chronic Hepatitis B


Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is the leading cause of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) development. Recent studies demonstrated that single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) rs2293152 in signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) and rs7574865 in signal transducer and activator of transcription 4 (STAT4) are associated with chronic hepatitis B (CHB)-related HCC in the Chinese population. We hypothesized that these polymorphisms might be related to HCC susceptibility in Thai population as well. Study subjects were divided into 3 groups consisting of CHB-related HCC (n=192), CHB without HCC (n=200) and healthy controls (n=190). The studied SNPs were genotyped using polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP). The results showed that the distribution of different genotypes for both polymorphisms were in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium (P>0.05). Our data demonstrated positive association of rs7574865 with HCC risk when compared to healthy controls under an additive model (GG versus TT: odds ratio (OR) =2.07, 95% confidence interval (CI)=1.06-4.03, P=0.033). This correlation remained significant under allelic and recessive models (OR=1.46, 95% CI=1.09-1.96, P=0.012 and OR=1.71, 95% CI=1.13-2.59, P=0.011, respectively). However, no significant association between rs2293152 and HCC development was observed. These data suggest that SNP rs7574865 in STAT4 might contribute to progression to HCC in the Thai population.