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Differences in Cpg Island Distribution Between Subgenotypes of the Hepatitis B Virus Genotype

Lin Chen, Yi Shi, Wanrong Yang, Yafei Zhang, Qinxiu Xie, Yunsong Li, Xu Li, Jun Li, Zhenhua Zhang

(Department of Infectious Diseases, The First Affiliated Hospital of Anhui Medical University, Hefei, Anhui, China (mainland))

Med Sci Monit 2018; 24:6781-6794

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.910049

BACKGROUND: Hepatitis B virus (HBV) genotypes show genomic variations, resulting in different CpG islands in each HBV genotypes or subgenotype. This study aimed to establish reference sequences for each HBV subgenotype of A–H genotypes and to analyze the characteristics of the CpG islands.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: There were 3,037 retrieved whole-genome sequences of HBV genotypes A–H from GenBank, 28 subgenotype reference sequences were established for these genotypes. CpG islands of the subgenotype reference sequences were analyzed, and 939 strains were selected from the 3,037 genomic sequences. Differences in CpG islands between subgenotypes were compared using the chi-squared and non-parametric tests.
RESULTS: Of the 28 subgenotype reference sequences established, 11 subgenotype reference sequences lacked CpG island I, and only F4 contained a new CpG island. Of all selected strains, 48.35% (454/939) contained three traditional CpG islands I, II, and III (no new islands); 45.05% (423/939) lacked CpG island I; 38.98% (366/939) contained only CpG islands II and III; and 12.46% (117/939) contained new islands (genotypes A1, D7) (genotype G had no new islands). Strains with or without CpG island I, or new islands between subgenotypes of each HBV genotype were significantly different (P<0.05). Strains containing CpG islands I, II, and III and new islands among different subtypes in HBV genotypes A, C, and F were significantly different (P<0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: Different HBV genotypes and subgenotypes had characteristic CpG island patterns. Strains with or without CpG island I, or new islands among subgenotypes of each HBV genotype, were significantly different.

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