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Hum Genet. 2003 Mar;112(3):237-43. Epub 2002 Dec 13.

Influence of interleukin-12 receptor beta1 polymorphisms on tuberculosis.

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Department of Medicine and Biosystemic Science, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan.


Host genetic factors may be important determinants of susceptibility to tuberculosis, and several candidate gene polymorphisms have been shown to date. A series of recent reports concerning rare human deficiencies in the type-1 cytokine pathway suggest that more subtle variants of relevant genes may also contribute to susceptibility to tuberculosis at the general population level. To investigate whether polymorphisms in the interleukin-12 receptor (IL-12R) gene predispose individuals to tuberculosis, we studied these genes by single-strand conformational polymorphism analysis and direct sequencing. Although no common polymorphisms could be identified in the IL-12R beta 2 gene ( IL-12RB2), we confirmed four single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs; 641A-->G, 684C-->T, 1094T-->C, and 1132G-->C) causing three missense variants (Q214R, M365T, G378R) and one synonymous substitution in the extracellular domain of the IL-12R beta 1 gene ( IL12RB1). All SNPs were in almost perfect linkage disequilibrium (D'=0.98), and two common haplotypes of IL12RB1(allele 1: Q214-M365-G378; allele 2: R214-T365-R378) were revealed. Polymerase chain reaction/restriction fragment length polymorphism and sequence analyses were used to type IL12RB1polymorphisms in 98 patients with tuberculosis and 197 healthy controls in Japanese populations. In our case-control association study of tuberculosis, the R214-T365-R378 allele (allele 2) was over-represented in patients with tuberculosis, and homozygosity for R214-T365-R378 (the 2/2 genotype) was significantly associated with tuberculosis (odds ratio: 2.45; 95% CI: 1.20-4.99; P=0.013). In healthy subjects, homozygotes for R214-T365-R378 had lower levels of IL-12-induced signaling, according to differences in cellular responses to IL-12 between two haplotypes. These data suggest that the R214-T365-R378 allele, i.e., variation in IL12RB1, contribute to tuberculosis susceptibility in the Japanese population. This genetic variation may predispose individuals to tuberculosis infection by diminishing receptor responsiveness to IL-12 and to IL-23, leading to partial dysfunction of interferon-gamma-mediated immunity.

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