The induction of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) has been shown to have therapeutic potential in experimental models of hepatitis and liver fibrosis, which are closely related to liver cancer. In humans, HO-1 induction is transcriptionally modulated by the length of a GT-repeat [(GT)n] in the promoter region. We aimed to investigate the effect of HO-1 (GT)n variants on liver cancer in a human population. We determined the HO-1 genotype in 1153 study subjects and examined their association with liver cancer risk during a 15.9-year follow-up. Allelic polymorphisms were classified as short [S, <27 (GT)n] or long [L, ≥27 (GT)n]. Newly developed cancer cases were identified through linkage to the National Cancer Registry of Taiwan. Multivariate Cox regression analysis was used to evaluate the effect of the HO-1 (GT)n variants. Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) and cirrhosis history were also examined. The S/S genotype was found to be significantly associated with liver cancer risk, compared to the L/S and L/L genotypes. The S/S genotype group also had a higher percentage of subjects with abnormal AFP levels than other groups. There were significant percentages of cirrhosis among groups who carried S-alleles. Our findings indicate that short (GT)n variants in the HO-1 gene may confer susceptibility to rather than protection from liver cirrhosis/cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1489
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2021


  • Arsenic
  • Cirrhosis
  • Epidemiology
  • Genetic polymorphism
  • Heme oxygenase-1
  • Liver cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Gt-repeat polymorphism in the ho-1 gene promoter is associated with risk of liver cancer: A follow-up study from arseniasis-endemic areas in taiwan'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this