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||Genetic variation in CLDN1 and susceptibility to hepatitis C virus infection.
||Bekker V, Chanock SJ, Yeager M, Hutchinson AA, von Hahn T, Chen S, Xiao N, Dotrang M, Brown M, Busch MP, Edlin BR, Rice CM, O'Brien TR
||J Viral Hepat
||Claudin-1 is a recently discovered co-receptor for hepatitis C virus (HCV) that is required for late-stage binding of the virus. Because variants in the gene that encodes claudin-1 (CLDN1) could play a role in HCV infection, we conducted a 'whole gene association study' among injection drug users (IDUs) to examine whether CLDN1 genetic variants were associated with the risk of HCV infection or with viral clearance. In a cross sectional study, we examined genotype results for 50 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) across the CLDN1 gene region, comparing genotypes among participants with chronic HCV (n = 658) to those in IDUs who had cleared HCV (n = 199) or remained HCV-uninfected (n = 68). Analyses were controlled for racial ancestry (African-American or European-American) by stratification and logistic regression modeling. We found that participants who remained uninfected more often carried CLDN1 promoter region SNPs -15312C [odds ratio (OR), 1.72; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.00-2.94; P = 0.048], -7153A (OR, 2.13; 95% CI, 1.25-3.62; P = 0.006) and -5414C (OR, 1.78; 95% CI, 1.06-3.00; P = 0.03). HCV-uninfected participants less often carried CLDN1 IVS1-2983C (OR, 0.55; 95% CI, 0.31-0.97; P = 0.04), which lies in intron 1. CLDN1 -15312C, -7153A and -5414C formed a haplotype in both the African-American and European-American participants and a haplotype analysis supported the association of CLDN1 -7153A in the HCV-uninfected participants. The analyses of HCV clearance revealed no associations with any SNP. These results indicate that genetic variants in regulatory regions of CLDN1 may alter susceptibility to HCV infection.