Role of MicroRNA-221 and HCV Genotype in Predicting Chronic Liver Disease among Iraqi Patients


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have been repeatedly shown to play important roles in liver pathologies, including hepatitis, liver cirrhosis, and liver cancer. miRNAs are small RNA molecules that have the ability to regulate gene expression by targeting mRNA degradation or translational repression. miRNA-221 is one of the over 700 kinds of currently known miRNAs and is up-regulated in multiple tumors. This work was carried out to evaluate the ratio of HCV genotype in the studied sample of Iraqi HCV positive patients and to assess the expression level of miRNA-221 in the plasma as a diagnostic marker of liver injury in chronic hepatitis C and (liver cirrhosis & hepatocellular carcinoma). Current study included 25 healthy controls, 35 patients with chronic hepatitis C, 20 patients with (liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma) who attended to the Gastroenterology and Hepatology Teaching Hospital in Baghdad during the period from June/2017 to February/2018 were included in this study. HCV Genotype, viral load and miRNA-221 in the plasma were measured using real‑time PCR. This study showed that statistically significant differences in the mean values of miRNA-221 in plasma between the studied groups (P value =0.04) and also observed highly significant fold change in miRNA-221 expression was found between (liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma vs control) groups. In conclusion measurements of miRNA-221 may be useful in the evaluation of HCV patients. Moreover, the most prevalence genotype in this study was genotype 4 then 1a.