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PLoS One. 2013;8(2):e55227. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0055227. Epub 2013 Feb 20.

The contribution of SAA1 polymorphisms to Familial Mediterranean fever susceptibility in the Japanese population.

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Clinical Research Center, Department of General Internal Medicine and NHO Nagasaki Medical Center, Kubara, Omura, Japan.



Familial Mediterranean Fever (FMF) has traditionally been considered to be an autosomal-recessive disease, however, it has been observed that substantial numbers of patients with FMF possess only 1 demonstrable MEFV mutation. The clinical profile of familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) may be influenced by MEFV allelic heterogeneity and other genetic and/or environmental factors.


In view of the inflammatory nature of FMF, we investigated whether serum amyloid A (SAA) and interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β) gene polymorphisms may affect the susceptibility of Japanese patients with FMF. The genotypes of the -13C/T SNP in the 5'-flanking region of the SAA1 gene and the two SNPs within exon 3 of SAA1 (2995C/T and 3010C/T polymorphisms) were determined in 83 Japanese patients with FMF and 200 healthy controls. The same samples were genotyped for IL-1β-511 (C/T) and IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra) variable number of tandem repeat (VNTR) polymorphisms. There were no significant differences between FMF patients and healthy subjects in the genotypic distribution of IL-1β -511 (C/T), IL-1Ra VNTR and SAA2 polymorphisms. The frequencies of SAA1.1 allele were significantly lower (21.7% versus 34.0%), and inversely the frequencies of SAA1.3 allele were higher (48.8% versus 37.5%) in FMF patients compared with healthy subjects. The frequency of -13T alleles, associated with the SAA1.3 allele in the Japanese population, was significantly higher (56.0% versus 41.0%, p=0.001) in FMF patients compared with healthy subjects.


Our data indicate that SAA1 gene polymorphisms, consisting of -13T/C SNP in the 5'-flanking region and SNPs within exon 3 (2995C/T and 3010C/T polymorphisms) of SAA1 gene, are associated with susceptibility to FMF in the Japanese population.

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