Research Papers:

Enhanced circulating transforming growth factor beta 1 is causally associated with an increased risk of hepatocellular carcinoma: a mendelian randomization meta-analysis

Wei-Qun LU, Ji-Liang QIU, Zhi-Liang HUANG and Hai-Ying LIU _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:84695-84704. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.13218

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Wei-Qun LU1, Ji-Liang QIU1, Zhi-Liang HUANG1, Hai-Ying LIU1

1Department of Gastrointestinal Tumor Surgery, Cancer Center of Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China

Correspondence to:

Hai-Ying LIU, email: [email protected]

Keywords: hepatocellular carcinoma, transforming growth factor beta 1, polymorphism, meta-analysis, mendelian randomization

Received: September 30, 2016     Accepted: October 25, 2016     Published: November 08, 2016


The aim of this study was to test the causal association between circulating transforming growth factor beta 1 (protein: TGF-β1 and coding gene: TGFB1) and hepatocellular carcinoma by choosing TGFB1 gene C-509T polymorphism as an instrument in a Mendelian randomization (MR) meta-analysis. Ten English articles were identified for analysis. Two authors independently assessed each article and abstracted relevant data. Odds ratio (OR) and weighted mean difference (WMD) with 95% confidence interval (CI) were synthesized under a random-effects model. Overall, the association of C-509T polymorphism with hepatocellular carcinoma was negative, but its association with circulating TGF-β1 was statistically significant, with a higher concentration observed in carriers of the -509TT genotype (WMD, 95% CI, P: 1.72, 0.67–2.78, 0.001) and -509TT/-509TC genotypes (WMD, 95% CI, P: 0.98, 0.43–1.53, < 0.001). In subgroup analysis, C-509T polymorphism was significantly associated with hepatocellular carcinoma in population-based studies under homozygous-genotype (OR, 95% CI, P: 1.74, 1.08–2.80, 0.023) and dominant (OR, 95% CI, P: 1.48, 1.01–2.17, 0.047) models. Further MR analysis indicated that per unit increase in circulating TGF-β1 was significantly associated with a 38% (95% CI: 1.03–4.65) and 49% (95% CI: 1.01–6.06) increased risk of hepatocellular carcinoma under homozygous-genotype and dominant models, respectively. Conclusively, based on a MR meta-analysis, our findings suggest that enhanced circulating TGF-β1 is causally associated with an increased risk of hepatocellular carcinoma.

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