Distinction immune genes of hepatitis-induced heptatocellular carcinoma

Jinyu Hu, Zhiwei Gao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

127 Citations (Scopus)


Motivation: Hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C virus are the two leading causes resulting in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). It is observed that hepatitis C virus (HCV) is relatively difficult to induce HCC compared with hepatitis B virus (HBV). This motivates us to reveal the reasons behind this from the viewpoint of immune genes. Results: In order to distinguish the immune genes with low-level expression in HBV-induced HCC, but high-level expression in HCV-induced HCC, the concept of distinction immune gene is proposed. A filter is then designed to screen these genes. By using gene positive network with strong correlations between genes, the genes are further filtered to form the set of key distinction immune genes. The twenty-three key distinction immune genes are screened, which are divided into four clusters: T cells, B cells, immune signaling, and MHC. It is evident that the screened genes are important immune genes, which are activated in HCV-induced HCC, but inactivated in HBV-induced HCC. In HCV-induced HCC, the structures of HCV adaptively update so that they are difficult to be identified by antigens. Therefore, the clinic advice is either to increase the update speed of antigens or reduce the update speed of the viruses during the treatment of HCV-induced HCC. Moreover, it is also advised to add T cells or add the expression levels of T cells to strengthen the ability to kill cancer cells. In contrast, HBV updates slowly, but the immunity system in HBV-induced HCC has been damaged seriously. As a result, the clinic advice is to improve the immune ability of patients subjected to HBV-induced HCC, such as increasing immunoglobulin, T cells, and B cells etc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3191-3194
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 7 Dec 2012


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