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Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2008 Jun;32(6):959-65. doi: 10.1111/j.1530-0277.2008.00654.x. Epub 2008 Apr 26.

No role of matrixmetalloproteinase-3 genetic promoter polymorphism 1171 as a risk factor for cirrhosis in alcoholic liver disease.

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Institute of Clinical Pharmacology, University of Berne, Switzerland.



As only a minority of alcoholics develop cirrhosis, polymorphic genes, whose products are involved in fibrosis development were suggested to confer individual susceptibility. We tested whether a functional promoter polymorphism in the gene encoding matrix metalloproteinase-3 (MMP-3; 1171 5A/6A) was associated liver cirrhosis in alcoholics.


Independent cohorts from the UK and Germany were studied. (i) UK cohort: 320 alcoholic cirrhotics and 183 heavy drinkers without liver damage and (ii) German cohort: 149 alcoholic cirrhotics, 220 alcoholic cirrhotics who underwent liver transplantation and 151 alcoholics without liver disease. Patients were genotyped for MMP-3 variants by restriction fragment length polymorphism, single strand confirmation polymorphism, and direct sequencing. In addition, MMP-3 transcript levels were correlated with MMP-3 genotype in normal liver tissues.


Matrix metalloproteinase-3 genotype and allele distribution in all 1023 alcoholic patients were in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. No significant differences in MMP-3 genotype and allele frequencies were observed either between alcoholics with or without cirrhosis. There were no differences in hepatic mRNA transcription levels according to MMP-3 genotype.


Matrix metalloproteinase-3 1171 promoter polymorphism plays no role in the genetic predisposition for liver cirrhosis in alcoholics. Stringently designed candidate gene association studies are required to exclude chance observations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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