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J Bone Miner Res. 2009 Sep;24(9):1537-43. doi: 10.1359/jbmr.090314.

Association of the tag SNPs in the human SKT gene (KIAA1217) with lumbar disc herniation.

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Laboratory for Bone and Joint Diseases, Center for Genomic Medicine, RIKEN, Tokyo, Japan.


Lumbar disc herniation (LDH) is one of the most common musculo-skeletal diseases. Recent studies have indicated that LDH has strong genetic determinants, and several susceptibility genes have been reported to associate with LDH; however, its etiology and pathogenesis still remain unclear. KIAA1217 (alias SKT, the human homolog of murine Skt [Sickle tail]) is a good candidate for an LDH susceptibility gene because SKT is specifically expressed in nucleus pulposa of intervertebral discs (IVDs) in humans and mice, and Skt(Gt) mice, which are established through a large-scale gene-trap mutagenesis, exhibit progressive, postnatal onset abnormality of the IVDs. Here, we report the association of SKT with LDH. Using tag SNPs, we examined the association in two independent Japanese case-control populations and found a significant association with SKT rs16924573 in the allele frequency model (p = 0.0015). The association was replicated in a Finnish case-control population (p = 0.026). The combined p value of the two population by meta-analysis is 0.00040 (OR, 1.34; 95% CI, 1.14-1.58). Our data indicate that SKT is involved in the etiology of LDH.

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