Indexed on: 21 Jun '11Published on: 21 Jun '11Published in: Life Sciences
Signal transducer and activator of transcription 4 (STAT4) gene encode a transcriptional factor that transmits signals induced by several key cytokines which play important roles in the development of autoimmune diseases. Recently, several single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in STAT4 gene have been reported to be significantly associated with Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in different ethnic populations. We undertook this study to investigate whether the association of STAT4 genetic polymorphisms with RA is present in Northwestern Chinese Han population.A case-control association study in individuals with RA (n=208) and healthy controls (n=312) was conducted. Four SNPs (rs7574865, rs8179673, rs10181656, rs11889341) in STAT4 gene were genotyped by using polymerase chain reaction followed by denaturing high-performance liquid chromatography (PCR-DHPLC) and DNA sequencing.The genotype and allele distributions of four polymorphisms were significantly different in individuals with RA compared to controls, with SNP rs7574865 T allele and T/T genotype showing the most significant association with susceptibility to RA (uncorrected P=1×10(-4), OR=1.645, 95% CI=1.272-2.129; uncorrected P=4.8×10(-5), OR=3.111, 95% CI=1.777-5.447, respectively). Stratification studies showed that STAT4 gene polymorphisms were significantly associated with anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (anti-CCP) positive subgroup in Northwestern Chinese Han population.These findings strongly suggest that STAT4 genetic polymorphisms are associated with RA in Northwestern Chinese Han population, and support the hypothesis of STAT4 gene polymorphisms increasing the risk for RA across major populations.